Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science 2006, Vol. 38, No. 4, 311-324
Copyright 2006 by the Canadian Psychological Association DOI: 10.1037/cjbs2006017
Understanding the Multidimensionality of Acculturation Among Chinese Canadians AI-LAN CHIA and CATHERINE L. COSTIGAN, University of Victoria Abstract This study evaluated a multidomain bidimensional model of acculturation among Chinese Canadians. A total of 234 university students completed measures assessing internal and external domains of Chinese and Canadian dimensions of acculturation. The results of factor analyses showed that the Chinese dimension of acculturation included internal and external domains as expected, but that the Canadian dimension included only one domain. The emergence of a third factor reflected individuals’ evaluation of their cultural group as distinct from their identification with that group. The different domains of acculturation showed varying relations with participants’ extent of contact with Chinese and Canadian cultures and with chronological age. Implications of these findings for research methodology and for understanding Chinese Canadians are discussed. Résumé Cette étude évalue un modèle multidomaine et bidimensionnel de l’acculturation chez les canadiens d’origine chinoise. En tout, 234 étudiants universitaires ont répondu à un questionnaire évaluant les domaines internes et externes des dimensions chinoises et canadiennes de l’acculturation. Les résultats des analyses factorielles ont démontré que la dimension chinoise de l’acculturation englobait les domaines internes et externes comme prévu, mais que la dimension canadienne n’englobait qu’un seul domaine. Un troisième facteur a émergé de l’analyse qui reflète l’évaluation des individus de leur groupe culturel comme distinct de leur identification avec ce groupe. Les différents domaines d’acculturation varient selon l’étendue du contact des participants avec les cultures chinoises et canadiennes, ainsi qu’avec l’âge chronologique. Les implication de ces conclusions sont soulignées, tant au niveau de la méthodologie de recherche que de la compréhension des canadiens d’origine chinoise.
Berry (2003) defined acculturation as an overarching process of adjusting to a new culture that involves changes in identifications with one’s cultural group and the larger society. Acculturation
research in the late 1970s and early 1980s predominantly viewed individuals’ orientations toward their cultural group and the larger society as two opposite ends of a continuum. According to this bipolar perspective, the extent of loss of one’s ethnic culture was an indicator of one’s level of acculturation into the larger society. An alternative bidimensional model of acculturation was proposed (Berry, 1980; 2003) in which retention of the original culture exists independently of orientation towards the larger society. The bidimensional model is broader than the bipolar perspective, in that positive, negative, and nonsignificant relations between cultural orientations are all theoretically possible. This bidimensional model has been supported by empirical studies among different cultural groups, including Chinese Canadians (e.g., Costigan & Su, 2004; Ryder, Alden, & Paulhus, 2000). Berry’s bidimensional model of acculturation (1980, 2003) is often evaluated with the use of attitude scales that assess the desirability of identifying with one’s cultural group and the desirability of identifying with the larger society. In these studies, members of visible minority groups typically show a preference for adopting both identities (e.g., Berry, Kim, Power, Young, & Bujaki, 1989), rather than favouring their cultural group or the larger society. However, these attitude preferences may or may not correspond to actual cultural orientations. For instance, Noels, Pon, and Clément (1996) found that identity does not necessarily follow the same acculturation patterns as attitudes among Chinese Canadian university students. The goal of this study was to evaluate the bidimensional model of acculturation among Chinese Canadians using a comprehensive assessment of acculturation. In doing so, we adopted Berry’s bidimensional model of acculturation, assessing individuals’ orientation towards their cultural group independently of their orientation towards the larger society. Instead of examining acculturation attitude preferences, the current study broadly assessed actual cultural identifications and behavioural practices. During the process of acculturation, many scholars recognize that changes in orientation towards
Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 2006, 38:4, 311-324
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one’s cultural group and the larger society can occur in multiple domains, such as behavioural practices, identity, and values (Berry, 2003; Phinney, Horenczyk, Liebkind, & Vedder, 2001). However, multiple domains of each dimension are not always assessed simultaneously in a consistent manner. For instance, rather than assessing the same multiple domains for both dimensions, studies may focus on one domain of acculturation, such as language use in the cultural group and the larger society (e.g., Deyo, Diehl, Hazuda, & Stern, 1985), or they may focus on multiple domains, but within only one dimension (e.g., Rosenthal & Feldman, 1992). When multiple domains are assessed for both the cultural group and the larger society, the assessment results for these domains within each dimension are sometimes collapsed into one summary score (e.g., Ryder et al., 2000) or are considered corroborating one another (e.g., Berry et al., 1989). These practices specify a priori how aspects of acculturation should relate to one another and to other variables of interest. This may not always accurately reflect their interrelations. For instance, past research has found that acculturation behaviours do not necessarily coincide with attitudes (e.g., Elias & Blanton, 1987). Finally, in existing multidomain assessments of acculturation, cultural values have received relatively less attention than identity and behavioural practices. The lack of attention to cultural values is a concern in that cultural values are central to understanding the identity of Asian Americans (Phinney, 1990). Furthermore, when cultural values are assessed, their consideration tends to be restricted to values related to the cultural group; values related to the larger society are rarely assessed (Phinney, 1990; Roysircar-Sowdowsky & Maestas, 2000). The current study adopted a comprehensive strategy to assess the Chinese and Canadian dimensions of acculturation, including the aspects of identity, cultural values, and behavioural practices. This comprehensive assessment strategy allows for an examination of the core domains of acculturation. Due to the variety of domains assessed and the measures used across different studies, previous attempts to identify the core domains of acculturation have yielded discrepant results. For example, the factorial structure of acculturation has been found to vary depending on which group is under review (Rosenthal & Hrynevich, 1985) and similar items do not always cluster together to form expected factors (e.g., Ying, Lee, & Tsai, 2000). Several researchers have proposed conceptual paradigms for a systematic understanding of multidomain, bidimensional acculturation. Many of these paradigms are similar in that they
include both internal and external domains (e.g., Kwan & Sodowsky, 1997), a distinction that was evaluated in the current study. The internal domain in each dimension usually refers to the psychological aspects of an individual’s orientation toward their cultural group and the larger society, such as feelings of attachment, identity achievement as a group member, knowledge of cultural values, and a sense of common fate. The external domain usually refers to the behavioural aspects of an individual’s orientation toward his/her ethnic cultural group and the larger society, such as language use and participation in cultural traditions. Some paradigms further divide the internal domain into smaller components (e.g., Elias & Blanton, 1987; Isajiw, 1990), whereas others use one central concept, such as cultural values, to represent the internal domain (e.g., Marin, 1992). The inclusion of multiple aspects of acculturation allows for an empirical evaluation of the two-domain structure of both Chinese and Canadian dimensions of acculturation. Furthermore, the current study examined the relations between features of the external context and these domains of acculturation. Aspects of the external context have been found to be salient in the process of identity formation (Phinney, 1990). Individuals may find themselves identifying with cultural groups that the larger society negatively values relative to other groups. Alternatively, when given the choice, individuals may identify with the group that provides the most positive sense of distinctiveness (Tafjel & Turner, 1986). Research on situated identity has shown that individuals respond to immediate contextual demands by endorsing the identity that provides them the most benefits with regards to self-esteem in a given situation (Clément & Noels, 1992). The external context, such as others’ evaluation of one’s ethnic cultural group, may be particularly salient for people with collectivistic values (Luhtanen & Crocker, 1992), such as individuals from Chinese culture (Bond & Hwang, 1986). Members of a cultural group in a multicultural context may differ in their perceptions of how their group is regarded by the larger society, and these perceptions may relate to their orientations toward the cultural group and the larger society. Therefore, in the current study, we included an assessment of individuals’ perceived social evaluation of their cultural group and group membership. Individuals may differ in the extent of contact they have had with their cultural group and the larger society. These differences are expected to be associated with differences in Chinese and Canadian dimensions of acculturation. Empirical evidence generally
Multidimensionality of Acculturation 313 supports a positive relation between cultural contact and acculturation. For instance, first-generation immigrants more strongly identify with their cultural group and show a lower level of identification with the larger society than later generations (Cuéllar, Arnold, & Maldonodo, 1995; Rosenthal & Feldman, 1992). A longer length of residence and an earlier age of immigration to the larger society are also related to a higher level of identification with the larger society and a lower level of cultural group identification among immigrants (Liem, Lim, & Liem, 2000; Richman, Gaviria, Flaherty, Birz, & Wintrob, 1987). A few studies, however, contradict this relatively consistent pattern of relations between cultural contact and acculturation. For instance, Sodowsky and Carey (1988) did not find a significant relation between participants’ length of residence in the larger society and their overall level of acculturation. Chinese and Canadian dimensions of acculturation may relate to cultural contact differently. For instance, exposure to Canadian culture is related to Canadian identification, but not to identification with the Chinese culture (Ryder et al., 2000). In addition, cultural contact may be more strongly related to external domains of acculturation than to internal domains such as identity and values. Consistently, Rosenthal and Feldman found a decrease in ethnic identification across generations in the external areas of ethnic behaviours and knowledge, but not in the internal importance of ethnic identity. Overall, the present study simultaneously examined multiple domains of Chinese and Canadian dimensions of acculturation, assessed the perceived social evaluation of one’s ethnic group as an integral part of Chinese identity, and examined the relations between cultural contact and acculturation. Specifically, the following hypotheses were evaluated: 1) Chinese and Canadian dimensions of acculturation will emerge as two separate and independent constructs, supporting the bidimensional model of acculturation. 2) Both Chinese and Canadian dimensions of acculturation will include internal and external domains. 3) Individuals’ perceived social evaluation of the Chinese group will be an integral part of the internal domain of the Chinese dimension. 4) Chinese and Canadian dimensions of acculturation will be unrelated or positively related, rather than negatively correlated as suggested in the bipolar perspective. If internal and external domains are identified within each dimension,
they will be positively related. 5) Chinese and Canadian dimensions of acculturation will be related to the extent of cultural contact. Specifically, participants born in Canada (i.e., those with relatively more contact with Canadian culture and less contact with Chinese culture) will report higher Canadian orientations and lower Chinese orientations than foreign-born participants. Similarly, participants who immigrated at a younger age or who have been in Canada longer will report higher Canadian orientations and lower Chinese orientations than participants who immigrated at an older age or who have been in Canada for a shorter time. If a two-domain model within each dimension is supported, we expect that these hypotheses will be supported in the external domains and not the internal domains. Method Participants A total of 234 students with Chinese origins participated in the present study. All had lived in Canada for at least two years. There were approximately equal numbers of men and women, with ages ranging from 18 to 40 years (mean age of 22.3). Of the total sample, 13.6% were born in Canada and 86.4% were foreign-born. Among the foreign-born participants, the majority came to Canada after the age of 12 (76.2%), and came from either Taiwan (57%) or Hong Kong (35.3%). The mean length of residence in Canada among the foreign-born was 8.36 years. More than half of the participants’ fathers had a college degree or more. The majority of the participants were recruited through Chinese student associations, fliers posted on campus and Internet list-servers, and language classes at two universities in Western Canada. Participants recruited through these means were eligible to win three prizes with a value of $30 through a draw. The remaining participants were recruited through an undergraduate psychology course and received course bonus points for their participation. Measures Demographic background. A demographic background questionnaire that was designed for this study included questions such as gender, age, country of origin, place of birth, length of residence in Canada, and age at the time of immigration to Canada. Chinese dimension-internal domain. Several scales were used to assess different elements of the internal domain of the Chinese dimension of acculturation:
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Ethnic Affirmation and Belonging, Ethnic Identity Achievement, Ethnic Kinship and Common Fate, Chinese Cultural Values, and Collective Self-Esteem. The 5-item Ethnic Affirmation and Belonging scale (e.g., “I feel a strong attachment towards my own ethnic group”) and the 7-item Ethnic Identity Achievement scale (e.g., “I have a clear sense of my ethnic background and what it means for me”) are both subscales of the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure (MEIM; Phinney, 1992). Items are rated on a 4-point scale, and higher scores indicate a higher level of ethnic identity. Alpha coefficients previously reported for these two scales range from .80 to .86, and both scales demonstrate good validity in assessing ethnic identity for Chinese university students (Eyou, Adair, & Dixon, 2000). The alpha coefficient for these two scales in the present study was .89 and .82, respectively. The 10-item Ethnic Kinship and Common Fate scale was adapted from the Jewish Identity Scale (Zak, 1973) by replacing “Jewish” with “Chinese” (e.g., “My fate and future are bound up with that of the Chinese everywhere”). Items are rated on a 7-point scale, and higher scores indicate a higher level of ethnic identity. This scale demonstrates good reliability (alpha = .72) and validity in assessing ethnic identity across ethnic groups (Elias & Blanton, 1987). The alpha coefficient for this scale in the present study was .77. The 40-item Chinese Value Survey (The Chinese Culture Connection, 1987) was used to assess the degree to which participants endorse traditional Chinese cultural values (e.g., “filial piety”). Items are rated on a 9-point scale. This scale demonstrates good validity in assessing Chinese cultural values for Chinese people residing in Chinese and Western countries (Ralston, Gustafson, Elsass, Cheung, & Terpstra, 1992; The Chinese Culture Connection, 1987). The alpha coefficient for this scale in the present study was .95. The Collective Self-Esteem scale (CSE; Luhtanen & Crocker, 1992) was used to assess participants’ social evaluation of their ethnic group and group membership. This scale has four subscales with four items each: CSE -Private (judgments of how good one’s group is), CSE-Public (judgments of how other people evaluate one’s group), CSE-Membership (judgments of how good one is as a member of one’s group), and CSE-Identity (importance of group membership to one’s self-concept). This scale was adapted to focus on an individual’s “ethnic” group, rather than on his/her social groups. This scale demonstrates good reliability and validity when adapted to assess individuals’ perceived social evaluation of their ethnic group among Chinese immigrants (Verkuyten & Lay,
1998). Items are rated on 7-point scale, with higher scores indicating more positive feelings and higher social evaluation of one’s ethnic group. The alpha coefficient for these four subscales in the present study ranged from .67 to .80. Chinese dimension-external domain. The external domain of the Chinese dimension was assessed with the Chinese Behavioural Practices scale. This scale was adapted from the Mexican Orientation subscale of the Acculturation Rating Scale for Mexican Americans-II ( ARSMA-II ; Cuéllar et al., 1995) by replacing “Mexican” with “Chinese” (e.g., “I speak Chinese”). This scale has 17 items that are rated on a 5-point scale. Higher scores indicate a higher level of Chinese orientation. This scale demonstrates good validity in assessing Asian American university students’ orientation towards their ethnic cultural group (Liem et al., 2000). In order to ensure that all items assess behavioural practices only, five items from the original scale that assess identity were eliminated (e.g., “I like to identify myself as a Chinese”), resulting in a 12-item scale. The alpha coefficient for the revised scale in the present study was .89. Canadian dimension-internal domain. Several measures were used to assess different elements of the internal domain of the Canadian dimension of acculturation, including Canadian Affirmation and Belonging, Canadian Identity Achievement, Canadian Kinship and Common Fate, and Canadian Cultural Values. The 5-item Canadian Affirmation and Belonging scale and the 7-item Canadian Identity Achievement scale each was adapted from the Ethnic Affirmation and Belonging scale and the Ethnic Identity Achievement scale (Phinney, 1992), by replacing “ethnic” with “Canadian” or “Canada” (e.g., “I feel a strong attachment towards Canada”; “I have a clear sense of being a Canadian and what it means for me”). Items are rated on a 4-point scale, and higher scores indicate a higher level of acculturation to the larger society. These two scales demonstrate good reliability and validity when adapted to assess individuals’ identification with the larger society (Eyou et al., 2000). The alpha coefficient for the scales in the present study was .89 and .76, respectively. The 10-item Canadian Kinship and Common Fate scale was adapted from the American Identity Scale (Zak, 1973) by replacing “American” with “Canadian” (e.g., “My fate and future are bound up with that of the Canadian people”). Items are rated on a 7-point scale, and higher scores indicate a higher level of acculturation. This scale demonstrates good
Multidimensionality of Acculturation 315 TABLE 1 Factorial Loadings of the 13 Identity Measures on the Cultural Identity Factors –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Initial Factor Analyses Within-Dimension Factor Analyses ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Chinese Canadian Ethnic ChineseChineseCanadian Orientation Orientation Evaluation Internal External Orientation Orientation Orientation –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Ethnic Affirmation/ Belonging .63 .04 .42 .84 .01 Ethnic Identity Achievement .65 .26 .15 .82 -.10 Ethnic Kinship/ Common Fate .62 -.03 .14 .52 .27 Chinese Cultural Values .44 .07 -.07 .26 .24 Collective Self-Esteem-Identity .47 .01 .35 .67 -.06 Chinese Behavioural Practices .59 -.27 -.20 -.05 .91 Canadian Affirmation/ Belonging .01 .91 -.03 .91 Canadian Identity Achievement .09 .80 -.13 .82 Canadian Kinship/ Common Fate .12 .75 -.01 .84 Canadian Behavioural Practices -.27 .58 .18 .71 Collective Self-Esteem-Private .09 -.08 .90 Collective Self-Esteem-Public -.08 .02 .71 Collective Self-Esteem-Membership .41 .11 .52 –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Eigenvalues 4.23 2.71 1.44 2.87 1.05 2.71 Percentage of Variance 32.55 20.85 11.08 47.85 17.48 67.80 ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
reliability and validity when assessing individuals’ identification with the larger society (Elias & Blanton, 1987). The alpha coefficient for this scale in the present study was .86. In terms of Canadian Cultural Values, Canada is often considered an individualistic country (Triandis, Bontempo, Betancourt, Bond, Leung, Brenes, et al., 1988). Therefore, the individualism scale (Triandis et al., 1986; 1988) was used to assess individuals’ endorsement of Canadian cultural values, including the themes of self-reliance and competition (e.g., “If you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself”) and emotional distance from in-groups (e.g., “I am not to blame if one of my family members fails”). This scale includes 21 items that are rated on a 5-point scale. These items demonstrate good validity in assessing individualistic values among Chinese Americans (Tata & Leong, 1994). The alpha coefficient for this scale in the present study was .78. Canadian dimension-external domain. The external domain of Canadian dimension of acculturation was assessed with the Canadian Behavioural Practices scale. This scale was adapted from the Anglo Orientation subscale of the Acculturation Rating Scale for Mexican Americans-II (ARSMA-II; Cuéllar et al., 1995) by replacing “Anglo” with “Canadian” or “Caucasian” (e.g., “I write in English”). This scale, which has 13 items that are rated on a 5-point scale, demonstrates good validity in assessing Asian American university students’ orientation towards
American culture (Liem et al., 2000). In order to ensure that all items assess behavioural practices only, three items from the original scale that assess an individual’s identity (e.g., “I like to identify myself as a Canadian”) were eliminated. Furthermore, two additional items were added in order to make the items parallel to those of the Chinese Behavioural Practices scale (e.g., “I enjoy speaking English”). The alpha coefficient for this revised scale in the present study was .86. Results The current study included several aspects of acculturation that have not been comprehensively and simultaneously examined among prior studies investigating the dimensional structure of acculturation, such as collective self-esteem and cultural values. Because the structural relations among these aspects of acculturation have not been investigated in samples of Chinese Canadians, exploratory statistical analyses (i.e., Exploratory Factor Analysis, EFA) were employed. In the factor analyses, principal factor analysis was used as the factor extraction method. In principal factor analysis, only the variance that each observed variable shares with other observed variables is available for analysis. Exclusion of error and unique variance from principal factor analysis is based on the belief that such variance only confuses the picture of underlying processes. Thus, a linear combination of factors approximates the observed correlation matrix and scores on observed variables
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(Kline, 1994). In SPSS 12, the principal factor extraction is conducted through principal axis factoring (PAF). An oblique rotation was chosen as the final factor rotation method. This was determined by examining correlations among the factors obtained from an oblique rotation. The correlations among factors ranged from .02 to .39, suggesting that there is at most a 15% overlap in variance among variables. Usually, when there is 10% (or more) overlap in variance among factors, oblique rotation is warranted unless there are other compelling reasons for choosing an orthogonal rotation (Tabachnick & Fidell, 2001). An oblique rotation was also preferred because an orthogonal rotation would establish a priori that the relations among the factors be orthogonal; this would hinder our ability to explore the interrelations among them. After completing the exploratory factor analyses, the results were submitted to a maximum likelihood confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). These analyses evaluate the appropriateness of the factorial solution derived from EFA . The Analysis of Moment Structures (AMOS) computer program (Arbuckle & Wothke, 1999) was used in these analyses. Hypothesis 1: The Dimensional Structure of Acculturation An examination of the bivariate correlation matrix among the 14 acculturation variables and the squared multiple correlations between variables indicated the factorability of the present data set. However, an outlier among the variables (i.e., Canadian Cultural Values) was identified due to its very low squared multiple correlation. As a result, the variable of Canadian Cultural Values was dropped from subsequent analyses. The 13 remaining acculturation variables were submitted to a PAF. An examination of a scree plot and eigenvalues indicated that a three-factor model fit the data for the overall sample. Therefore, a threefactor solution was specified for a PAF with oblique rotation. The three factors accounted for 64.48% of the total variance, with factor loadings ranging from .44 to .91 (see the first three columns of Table 1). These three factors were labelled Chinese Orientation (consisting of six Chinese variables), Canadian Orientation (consisting of four Canadian variables), and Ethnic Evaluation (consisting of three collective self-esteem variables). As expected, variables related to Chinese and Canadian dimensions completely separated from one another, providing preliminary support for the bidimensional model of acculturation.
Hypothesis 2: Two-Domain Structures Within Chinese and Canadian Dimensions Separate factor analyses were conducted within the factors of Chinese Orientation and Canadian Orientation to investigate whether internal and external domains within each dimension could be identified (shown in the last three columns of Table 1). The six variables subsumed under the Chinese Orientation factor were submitted to a PAF. An examination of a scree plot and eigenvalues indicated that a two-factor solution best fit the data. Therefore, a two-factor solution was specified with PAF and oblique rotation, which led to moderately satisfactory loadings, accounting for 65.33% of the total variance. As expected, the Chinese dimension comprised two domains, labelled as Chinese-Internal Orientation and Chinese-External Orientation. Chinese-Internal Orientation consisted of five variables, including Ethnic Affirmation and Belonging, Ethnic Identity Achievement, Ethnic Kinship and Common Fate, Chinese Cultural Values, and the CSE -Identity. Chinese-External Orientation consisted of one variable, Chinese Behavioural Practices. Similarly, the four variables subsumed under the Canadian Orientation factor were submitted to a PAF. A one-factor solution was found to best fit the data, accounting for 67.80% of the total variance. A onefactor solution was specified for a PAF leading to excellent factor loadings, ranging from .71 to .91. Contrary to our expectations, Canadian Orientation comprised of one factor that encompassed internal and external domains. Hypothesis 3: Social Evaluation of One’s Group as Part of the Internal Chinese Dimension The four subscales of collective self-esteem (CSEPrivate, CSE-Public, CSE-Membership, CSE-Identity) were expected to be subsumed under the internal domain of Chinese dimension, reflecting the perceived social evaluation about one’s cultural group as an integral part of one’s cultural identity. However, the results showed that these four subscales did not all load together. As expected, CSE-Identity loaded on the internal domain of the Chinese dimension. However, contrary to our expectations, CSE-Private, CSE-Public, and CSE-Membership subscales branched out to form a third factor (see Table 1). One common feature of these three subscales, unlike the CSE Identity subscale, is that they are all evaluative in nature. Therefore, the third factor was termed “Ethnic Evaluation” to reflect the perceived social evaluation of one’s cultural group as separate from identification with one’s cultural group.
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Figure 1. Path diagram and standardized estimates of parameters in the four-factor model.
Hypothesis 4: Relations Among Cultural Orientation Factors The EFA resulted in four cultural orientation factors: Chinese-Internal Orientation, Chinese-External Orientation, Canadian Orientation, and Ethnic Evaluation. Factor scores for each were calculated using an item-weighting method. The correlations between Canadian Orientation and the internal and external domains of Chinese orientation were expect-
ed to be nonsignificant or positive, rather than negative. Consistently, Chinese-Internal Orientation and Canadian Orientation were positively correlated (r = .18, p < .01). However, contrary to expectations, Chinese-External Orientation and Canadian Orientation were negatively correlated (r = -.27, p < .01). We also hypothesized that if internal and external domains were identified, they would be positively correlated. Consistently, Chinese-Internal and
318 Chia and Costigan TABLE 2 Differences on the Four Cultural Orientation Factors Based on Cultural Contact –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Criterion Whole Sample Foreign-Born Participants Only ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Mean F-test Mean F-test ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Nativity Canada Foreign (N = 33) (N = 201) ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– 2.48a .01 N/A Chinese-Internal Orientation 2.48a 3.70a 111.31** Chinese-External Orientation 2.62b Canadian Orientation 2.91a 2.38b 55.44** a 3.56b 12.53** Ethnic Evaluation 3.91 ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Age of Immigrationa 0-6 7-11 12+ 0-11 12+ (N = 37) (N = 39) (N = 153) (N = 42) (N = 44) ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Chinese-Internal Orientation 2.50a 2.52a 2.46a .64 2.53a 2.46a 1.67 b a a 3.65 3.72 53.65** 3.61a 3.72a 1.74 Chinese-External Orientation 2.69 Canadian Orientation 2.89a 2.53b 2.33c 34.23** 2.55a 2.33b 11.04** 3.65a,b 3.52b 9.39** 3.69a 3.52a 3.42 Ethnic Evaluation 3.93a ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– b Length of Residence Chinese-Internal Orientation .07 .09 Chinese-External Orientation -.48** -.08 Canadian Orientation .53** .43** Ethnic Evaluation .29** .20** –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– a Note. * p < .05; ** p < .01; Within each row, means with different subscripts are significantly different from one another (p < .05, twotailed); b Correlations between length of residence and the four-factor scores (Ns ranged from 227 to 233).
External Orientations were positively correlated (r = .31, p < .01). Finally, Ethnic Evaluation was positively correlated with both Chinese-Internal Orientation (r = .58, p < .01) and Canadian Orientation (r = .23, p < .01) and was unrelated to Chinese-External Orientation (r = -.003). Support for the Factorial Structure via Confirmatory Factor Analysis Maximum Likelihood Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) was conducted to evaluate whether the four-factor model that resulted from the EFA was a good fit to the data. Several indicators were used to assess the overall model fit, including: a) the χ2/df ratio between 2 and 5; b) a comparative fit index (CFI) value above .9; c) a root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) ideally less than .05, although values < 1.0 are adequate; and d) factor loadings and patterns of factor intercorrelations consistent with the four-factor model. The results for the four-factor model suggested a respectable fit to the data (χ2 = 280.862, df = 60; p = .000; χ 2 /df = 4.68). This fit was significantly improved by allowing correlation between error terms (χ2 = 173.112, df = 55; p = .000; χ2/df = 3.15). This modification was justified given the common method of measurement (e.g., the same measures were adapted to assess Chinese and Canadian aspects of the same underlying construct). The CFI
value was .913, indicating a good model fit. The RMSEA value was .09, which falls on the outside edge of the acceptable range (MacCallum, Browne, & Sugawara, 1996). The final four-factor model is presented in Figure 1. An examination of the factor loadings of the fourfactor model indicated that all values were of an acceptably high magnitude, with one exception (i.e., Chinese Cultural Values). The regression weights of all 13 variables were statistically significant at .001 level (two-tailed). As shown in Figure 1, the correlations among latent variables were similar to the correlations found among the factor scores and supported the validity of the four-factor structure. Overall, the four-factor model was considered a good fit to the data.1 1 We evaluated the goodness of fit of several simpler nested models compared to our final model. Specifically, we tested a single-factor model where all variables were subsumed under a general acculturation factor and a two-factor model where all ethnic-related variables were subsumed under a Chinese factor and all Canadian-related variables were subsumed under a Canadian factor. We also tested a three-factor model with Chinese Orientation, Canadian Orientation, and Ethnic Evaluation factors (with no division within the Chinese factor into internal and external domains). Our final four-factor model fit the data best with significant reductions in chi-square values compared to the one-, two-, and three-factor models and improvements in several fit indices. Full details of these analyses are available from the first author.
Multidimensionality of Acculturation 319 TABLE 3 Predicting the Four Cultural Orientation Factors From Cultural Contact (Controlling for Gender and Age) ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Chinese-Internal Chinese-External Canadian Ethnic Orientation Orientation Orientation Evaluation ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Step Variable Entered R2 ΔR2 Beta R2 ΔR2 Beta R2 ΔR2 Beta R2 ΔR2 Beta ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– 1
Controls .04 .003 .01 .03 Gender -.09 .03 .04 -.06 Age .19** -.03 -.09 .17* 2 Cultural Contact .06 .01 .34 .33** .30 .30** .12 .10** Nativity -.15 -.44** -.03 -.08 Length of Residence .08 .12 .61** .16 Age of Arrival -.14 .28 .04 -.23 ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Note. * p < .05; ** p < .01.
Hypothesis 5: Cultural Contact and Cultural Orientations The next set of analyses evaluated the impact of cultural contact on the strength of these four cultural orientations. Three demographic variables were chosen to represent the extent of contact with Chinese and Canadian cultures: nativity status (foreign-born vs. Canadian-born), length of residence in Canada, and age of immigration to Canada. Differences on the four factor scores based on nativity status and age of immigration were examined through one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). Significant differences were probed using Scheffe’s post-hoc test of significance when applicable. Participants’ length of residence in Canada was examined in relation to the four factors with bivariate correlations. Current age was used for length of residence for the Canadian-born participants. Since foreign-born participants comprised over three-fourths of the overall sample, the analyses were repeated in this more homogeneous sample. The results of these analyses with both the whole sample and the foreign-born only sample are presented in Table 2. Within the Chinese dimensions, we expected cultural contact to be related to the external domain and not the internal domain of acculturation. The results regarding the external Chinese domain were consistent with our expectations. First, Canadian-born participants reported lower Chinese-External Orientation than foreign-born participants. In addition, younger age at the time of immigration was associated with lower Chinese-External Orientation, as was longer length of residence in Canada. However, neither finding was evident when the sample was restricted to only foreign-born participants, suggesting that the major difference in ChineseExternal Orientation is between Canadian-born and foreign-born participants. The results for ChineseInternal Orientation were also consistent with expectations. Specifically, levels of Chinese-Internal
Orientation were unrelated to participants’ nativity status, age at the time of immigration, or length of residence in Canada. The results for Canadian Orientation were also consistent with expectations. Specifically, Canadianborn participants reported a higher Canadian Orientation than foreign-born participants, and a higher Canadian Orientation was associated with a younger age at the time of immigration and a longer length of residence in Canada. These latter two findings continued to be significant when the sample was restricted to the foreign-born participants only. We also examined the relations between cultural contact and Ethnic Evaluation. The results showed that Canadian-born participants reported more positive feelings of Ethnic Evaluation than foreign-born participants. A younger age at the time of immigration was also related to more positive feelings of Ethnic Evaluation. However, this difference was tied to nativity status, as it was not evident when the sample was restricted to foreign-born participants. Finally, longer length of residence was associated with more positive feelings of Ethnic Evaluation, in the whole sample as well as among the foreign-born participants only. Thus, Ethnic Evaluation, although an ethnic-related factor, demonstrated a pattern of relations with the cultural contact variables that was most similar to the pattern found for Canadian Orientation. Finally, regression analyses were conducted to evaluate which of the three cultural contact variables best predicted the four factors when considered simultaneously. Gender and chronological age were entered in the first step as control variables, and the three cultural contact variables were entered in the second step simultaneously. Analyses were repeated among the foreign-born participants only and similar results were found; thus, the results for the whole sample are presented in Table 3. Note that chronolog-
320 Chia and Costigan
ical age and length of residence were not correlated (r = .01). As in the previous analyses, Chinese-Internal Orientation was not related to any of the cultural contact variables. Instead, this factor was best predicted by participants’ chronological age. ChineseExternal Orientation was best predicted by nativity status whereas Canadian Orientation was best predicted by length of residence in Canada. Ethnic Evaluation was not related to any of the contact variables after controlling for age. Discussion The results of the present study indicated that Chinese and Canadian dimensions of acculturation are independent constructs with different structural features. In addition, perceived social evaluation of the Chinese group was not an integral part of either dimension; instead, it is an important additional aspect of cultural orientation. Finally, the extent of cultural contact was more strongly related to the Canadian and external Chinese dimensions of acculturation than to the internal Chinese dimension. Together, the results support the importance of utilizing a bidimensional model and of considering the domain-specificity of acculturation. Domains Within Chinese and Canadian Dimensions of Acculturation As expected, we found a two-domain structure for the Chinese dimension of acculturation that included internal and external domains. The internal domain incorporated feelings of belonging to the Chinese group, the achievement of a secure sense of identity as Chinese, feelings of common fate and kinship with other Chinese individuals, a sense that being a Chinese is important to one’s self-concept, and an endorsement of Chinese cultural values. The external domain included the practices of Chinese behaviours and customs. With the exception of Chinese cultural values, these constructs are commonly assessed as a part of ethnic identity in the literature (Phinney, 1990). This two-domain model resembles existing ethnic identity models, which often include psychological and behavioural domains (e.g., Isajiw, 1990). Previous studies that have adopted a two-domain model have mostly focused on identifying the demographic or psychological correlates of each domain (e.g., Kwan & Sodowsky, 1997) without first empirically validating the model. The present study provides this empirical support for the two-domain model. Furthermore, as expected, we found that two Chinese domains are positively related to one another. This is consistent with other research that has found that one’s confidence in using the language of
a cultural group (a part of the external domain) promotes a higher cultural identity with that language group (Noels et al., 1996). In contrast, only one domain was found in the Canadian dimension of acculturation, indicating that the participants endorsed all Canadian aspects in a similar manner. This finding is contradictory to the multidimensional models in the existing literature, but lends some empirical support to the common practice of using an overall score based on several domains to represent an individual’s acculturation to the larger society (e.g., Ryder et al., 2000). The Chinese and Canadian dimensions of acculturation demonstrated different structures, even though they were conceptualized similarly and assessed in a parallel fashion within the same sample. Chinese Canadians’ sense of being Canadian may be experienced coherently as a part of a unified self-concept, regardless of whether an individual identifies strongly or weakly as a Canadian. In contrast, being a Chinese in the Canadian context may not be experienced or expressed in a unified manner, and instead may vary across situations or Chinese domains. The Chinese and Canadian dimensions of acculturation had distinct relations with cultural values; Chinese cultural values were central to the Chinese dimension whereas Canadian cultural values were unrelated to the Canadian dimension. For Chinese Canadians, adopting Canadian values may not be as important to being Canadian as Chinese values are to being Chinese. Alternatively, because there is a lack of homogeneity in values within the larger society (Phinney, 1990), it may be more difficult to define and assess Canadian cultural values. Chinese and Canadian dimensions of acculturation clearly separated in the initial factor analysis, supporting a bidimensional model of acculturation. In addition, as expected, Canadian orientation was positively associated with the internal Chinese domain. Thus, strong feelings of Canadian identity can coexist with strong feelings of Chinese identity. Canada’s national policies support multiculturalism rather than assimilation. In addition, there is a large Chinese Canadian community in the region of Canada where this study was conducted, so that there are social and institutional resources available that make it possible to maintain a high degree of involvement in Chinese culture. Both national and local contextual factors may make it possible for individuals to simultaneously identify with the Chinese culture and the larger Canadian society. In contrast, Canadian orientation and the external Chinese domain were negatively related, as predicted by the bipolar perspective. The more orientated par-
Multidimensionality of Acculturation 321 ticipants were to Canadian culture, the less likely they were to engage in Chinese behavioural practices. This suggests that it may be more difficult to similarly endorse the external aspects of two cultures, such as language use, than it is to similarly endorse the internal aspects of two cultures, such as identity. That is, there may be practical constraints on preferring the behavioural practices of two cultures. For example, individuals who enjoy speaking English, perhaps as a way of minimizing cultural distance with the larger society and maximizing feelings of acceptance (Nesdale & Mak, 2003), are not able to simultaneously speak Chinese, and this higher level of English language likely creates social networks and routines that further reduce opportunities to speak Chinese. Thus, engaging in the behavioural practices of two cultures may be somewhat mutually exclusive. Importantly, however, these two constructs were by no means completely bipolar, as the negative correlation between them was relatively modest. Importance of the External Context The external context was related to acculturation in several ways, in addition to the considerations presented above. First, more positive evaluations of how the broader context views the Chinese group (Ethnic Evaluation) were significantly related to stronger feelings of being Chinese. This finding is consistent with the theory that in Chinese culture, the self, the importance of one’s public image, and the importance of the feelings and evaluations of others are intertwined (Markus & Kitayama, 1991). Second, the extent of contact with Canadian and Chinese cultures was related to some, but not all, aspects of acculturation. Greater contact with Canadian culture was associated with stronger Canadian orientations, less participation in Chinese behavioural practices, and more positive evaluations of the Chinese group. Furthermore, as expected, cultural contact was related to external, but not internal, Chinese domains. For example, foreign-born individuals participated more in Chinese behavioural practices than Canadian-born participants, but these two groups were similar in their internal Chinese identity. These results are consistent with previous findings of a clearer lessening of the behavioural aspects than the psychological aspects of ethnic identity with successive generations (e.g., Rosenthal & Feldman, 1992). Traditional Chinese values also show a considerable degree of persistence across generation (Bond & Hwang, 1986). Therefore, the internal aspects of cultural identity may be more central and more resistant to change than the external aspects of cultural identity. This pattern of findings further supports the
value of distinguishing between internal and external aspects of cultural orientations. Importance of Chronological Age In the current study, even within a fairly restricted range, participants’ chronological age explained variance in cultural orientations that was not explained by cultural contact. Indeed, age was the most important predictor of participants’ Chinese-Internal Orientation and Ethnic Evaluation. Specifically, with increasing age, individuals reported stronger internal feelings of Chinese identity and more positive evaluations of the Chinese group. In the existing literature, cultural contact variables are often studied without also considering basic demographic variables such as age. This may obscure the true relations between cultural contact and cultural orientation, especially when age was related to some domains of cultural orientations more than others as found in the current study. Research into linguistic self-confidence may help explain the relations found between chronological age and cultural orientations. Second-language acquisition is related to developmental stage (Fledge, Yeni-Komshian, & Liu, 1999). Furthermore, linguistic self-confidence promotes a higher cultural identity with that language group (Noels et al., 1996). In the current study, the older Chinese participants may have had greater linguistic self-confidence in using their ethnic language compared to the younger participants. In addition, when they immigrated to Canada, the older Chinese participants may have been past the age at which it is most possible to learn English as fluently as their native language. Together, these two factors may strengthen older participants’ sense of ethnic identity and regard for the Chinese as a group. Another possible explanation for the relation between age and cultural identity may be found in the ego identity literature. Older individuals are more likely to have an achieved ego identity, while younger ones exhibit less mature identity (Adam, Bennion, & Huh, 1989). Since ethnic identity is a part of an individual’s overall identity, the positive relation between age and Chinese-Internal Orientation could be related to older individuals having more mature ego identities. Future longitudinal studies in which participants represent a wider range of ages and include earlier developmental stages are necessary in order to construct a comprehensive model of the relations among multiple identities, chronological age, and cultural contact.
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Study Limitations and Future Directions The present study is limited in a number of ways, and therefore several directions for future research stem from the findings. First, limitations are acknowledged with regard to the representativeness of the university student sample and the generalizability of the findings to Chinese Canadians as a whole. In addition, the characteristics of the current sample (e.g., overrepresented by the foreign-born participants) and the recruitment strategies may have contributed to the findings. That is, participants may have been biased towards those with pre-existing higher feelings of ethnic identity or more positive appraisals of the Chinese group. It will be important to replicate the present study in community samples and in samples where participants are recruited through nonethnic related networks. Second, the Chinese-External Orientation factor in our study consisted of only one scale. This particular scale contains items that cover several aspects of the external domain of an individual’s acculturation, such as language and media usage. However, in factor analyses, a factor that consists of fewer items may be limited in its generalizability across samples (Tabachnick & Fidell, 2001). Future studies should consider including additional elements representing the external domain of acculturation so that internal and external domains of acculturation are relatively equally assessed. Third, our measurement of cultural contact better assessed contact with the Canadian culture than the Chinese culture. Other than nativity status, we know little about individuals’ contact with Chinese culture after they immigrated to Canada. Future studies should more fully assess the extent of contact with the Chinese culture, including variables such as neighbourhood diversity and extent of contact with the country of origin after immigration. Finally, it is important to investigate models of acculturation in different national contexts. For example, different results from the current study may be found in contexts with less positive attitudes towards migration in the larger society, among populations in which there is less cultural distance between the cultural group and larger society, or in contexts where the size of the cultural community in the larger society is smaller (Phinney et al., 2001). In conclusion, the findings of the present study demonstrate the multidimensional nature of acculturation among Chinese Canadians. The findings support the need for a contextualized understanding of cultural orientations, and the need for further exploration of the relations among cultural contact, multiple identities, and chronological age from a life-
span perspective and in multiple locations. The first author gratefully acknowledges financial support from the Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) doctoral fellowship. A part of this manuscript was presented the 63rd annual meeting of the Canadian Psychological Association, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, May 2002. Correspondence regarding this article should be sent to Ai-Lan Chia at the Department of Psychology, Box 3050 STN CSC, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8W 3P5 (E-mail: [email protected]
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