US Immigrants’ Patterns of Acculturation are Sensitive to Their Age, Language, and Cultural Contact but Show No Evidence of a Sensitive Window for Acculturation

in Journal of Cognition and Culture
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Recent research observed a sensitive window, at about 14 years of age, in the acculturation rates of Chinese immigrants to Canada. Tapping an online sample of us immigrants (n=569), we tested these relationships in a broader population and explored connections with new potentially causally related variables: formal education, language ability and contact with heritage-culture and mainstream United States individuals, both now and at immigration. While we found that acculturation decreased with age at immigration and increased with years in the us, we did not observe a similar sensitive window (i.e., change in rate with age). We also present an exploratory path analysis, exposing the relationships in our sample between acculturation and the variables above. The novel relationships documented here can improve theorising about this rich and complex empirical phenomenon.

US Immigrants’ Patterns of Acculturation are Sensitive to Their Age, Language, and Cultural Contact but Show No Evidence of a Sensitive Window for Acculturation

in Journal of Cognition and Culture



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    Parsimonious, exploratory model of the relationships in our data. This model was developed by assuming that only ‘Now’ variables directly influenced participants’ host score, and were in turn influenced by temporally precedent ‘Then’ variables. Age of Immigration (AoI) was assumed to influence every other variable, including host score. Relationships were removed, from those smallest relative to their standard errors to those largest, until the model fit decreased beyond a conservative significance bound (p < 0.1). Above each relationship we have printed a likelihood maximising regression coefficient and standard error, all relationships here are significant by conventional standards (p < 0.05). * p < 0.05; ** p < 0.01.

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