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Being ‘Them’and ‘Us’ at the Same Time? Subgroups of Cultural Identification Change among Adolescent Diaspora Immigrants


Stoessel, Katharina; Titzmann, Peter F; Silbereisen, Rainer K (2014). Being ‘Them’and ‘Us’ at the Same Time? Subgroups of Cultural Identification Change among Adolescent Diaspora Immigrants. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 45(7):1089-1109.

Abstract

Recent research suggests that cultural groups comprise subgroups differing in the combination of their self-identifications with their heritage and host cultures and following distinct trajectories of acculturation. This study aimed at identifying such subgroups, predicting group membership by pre-migration factors, and testing for acculturation-related experiences with the host culture over time. The sample comprised 366 adolescent diaspora migrants (59% female, 16 years old) from the former Soviet Union to Germany. A person-oriented and longitudinal approach using growth mixture modeling revealed three subtypes of cultural identification change. The first subgroup (Idealists) comprised adolescents with high and stable identification with their host culture and low but increasing identification with their heritage culture. The second group (Skeptics) showed low and stable identification with their host culture and high but decreasing identification with their heritage culture. The third group (Realists) reported medium-level and stable identification with both host and heritage cultures. Group comparisons showed pre-migration differences: Idealists and Realists most likely spoke the host-culture language (i.e., German) as a native language and Idealists reported the highest level of maternal education. Membership in subgroups also related to adolescents’ perception of their current situation in the host culture: Idealists reported less acculturation-related hassles with respect to language and socio-cultural adaptation. Skeptics perceived lower expectations by natives to get in contact with natives and higher expectations to spend time with members of their immigrant group than the average immigrant. Results highlight the heterogeneity in immigrant populations and their specific needs before and after the actual migration.

Recent research suggests that cultural groups comprise subgroups differing in the combination of their self-identifications with their heritage and host cultures and following distinct trajectories of acculturation. This study aimed at identifying such subgroups, predicting group membership by pre-migration factors, and testing for acculturation-related experiences with the host culture over time. The sample comprised 366 adolescent diaspora migrants (59% female, 16 years old) from the former Soviet Union to Germany. A person-oriented and longitudinal approach using growth mixture modeling revealed three subtypes of cultural identification change. The first subgroup (Idealists) comprised adolescents with high and stable identification with their host culture and low but increasing identification with their heritage culture. The second group (Skeptics) showed low and stable identification with their host culture and high but decreasing identification with their heritage culture. The third group (Realists) reported medium-level and stable identification with both host and heritage cultures. Group comparisons showed pre-migration differences: Idealists and Realists most likely spoke the host-culture language (i.e., German) as a native language and Idealists reported the highest level of maternal education. Membership in subgroups also related to adolescents’ perception of their current situation in the host culture: Idealists reported less acculturation-related hassles with respect to language and socio-cultural adaptation. Skeptics perceived lower expectations by natives to get in contact with natives and higher expectations to spend time with members of their immigrant group than the average immigrant. Results highlight the heterogeneity in immigrant populations and their specific needs before and after the actual migration.

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3 citations in Web of Science®
3 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development
Dewey Decimal Classification:370 Education
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:12 Dec 2014 11:22
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 18:36
Publisher:Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN:0022-0221
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/0022022114534770
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-102184

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