Acculturative Status and Psychological Well-Being in an Asian American Sample


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Abstract

We sought to examine the relationship between acculturative status and positive psychological functioning (i.e., psychological well-being) in a sample of 96 Asian Americans. Using a supplemental item from the Suinn-Lew Asian Self-Identity Acculturation Scale, we classified participants into one of three acculturative statuses: Asian-Identified (n = 56), Western-Identified (n = 20), and Bicultural-Identified (n = 20). We used Ryff's (1989) Scales of Psychological Well-Being as a comprehensive measure of well-being, in addition to other commonly used indicators of well-being such as life satisfaction and depressed mood. We hypothesized that Bicultural-Identified individuals would show greater well-being relative to Asian-Identified and Western-Identified individuals as a result of these latter groups experiencing acculturative stress and bicultural stress, respectively. Results of a priori contrast tests largely confirmed our hypothesis, revealing the predicted pattern among four of six subscales of subjective well-being. Implications for future work examining Asian Americans' well-being and mental health are discussed.

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