Unidimensional and Bidimensional Approaches to Measuring Acculturation

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Background and Purpose: Researchers easily overlook the complexity of acculturation measurement in research. This study is to elaborate the shortcomings of unidimensional approaches to conceptualizing acculturation and highlight the importance of using bidimensional approaches in health research. Methods: We conducted a secondary data analysis on acculturation measures and eating habits obtained from 261 Korean American adults in a Midwestern city. Results: Bidimensional approaches better conceptualized acculturation and explained more of the variance in eating habits than did unidimensional approaches. Conclusion: Bidimensional acculturation measures combined with appropriate analytical methods, such as a cluster analysis, are recommended in health research because they provide a more comprehensive understanding of acculturation and its association with health behaviors than do other methods.

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