A person-centered and ecological investigation of acculturation strategies in Hispanic immigrant youth



Understanding the processes of acculturation in ethnic minority populations is one of the central tasks of crosscultural research. Addressing challenges of theory, methods, and application in acculturation research requires ongoing advancements in methods and theoretical and model development. The current study was designed to explain a person-centered approach to investigating acculturation and biculturalism and to illustrate this method with a sample of 315 Hispanic youth. Pattern analyses of the Hispanicism and Americanism scores from the Bicultural Involvement Scale yielded four distinct acculturation types, including one characterized by moderate scores on both scales. Relations between acculturation types and indicators of individual, family, and peer adaptation were tested. Results indicated that bicultural youth tended to show the most adaptive pattern of functioning across multiple sociocultural domains. Assimilated youth did not show as strongly negative a pattern as has been reported elsewhere. Implications and benefits of a person-centered approach are discussed. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Comm Psychol 33: 157–174, 2005.