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Bicultural Identity, Bilingualism, and Psychological Adjustment in Multicultural Societies: Immigration-Based and Globalization-Based Acculturation


  • Sylvia Xiaohua Chen and Verónica Benet-Martínez contributed equally to this article. We are grateful to Wai Chan for his advice on the statistical analyses, and to Wesley Wu, Pauletta Lo, and Tony Cheng for their assistance in data collection and scale translation. This study was supported in part by Direct Grant 4450068 of the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Grant for Collaborative Research with Chinese Institutes. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Sylvia Chen ( or Verónica Benet-Martínez (


ABSTRACT The present investigation examined the impact of bicultural identity, bilingualism, and social context on the psychological adjustment of multicultural individuals. Our studies targeted three distinct types of biculturals: Mainland Chinese immigrants in Hong Kong, Filipino domestic workers (i.e., sojourners) in Hong Kong, and Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese college students. Individual differences in Bicultural Identity Integration (BII; Benet-Martínez, Leu, Lee, & Morris, 2002) positively predicted psychological adjustment for all the samples except sojourners even after controlling for the personality traits of neuroticism and self-efficacy. Cultural identification and language abilities also predicted adjustment, although these associations varied across the samples in meaningful ways. We concluded that, in the process of managing multiple cultural environments and group loyalties, bilingual competence, and perceiving one's two cultural identities as integrated are important antecedents of beneficial psychological outcomes.