Dimensions of Acculturation: Associations With Health Risk Behaviors Among College Students From Immigrant Families

Seth J Schwartz, Robert S. Weisskirch, Byron L. Zamboanga, Linda G. Castillo, Lindsay S. Ham, Que Lam Huynh, Irene J K Park, Roxanne Donovan, Su Yeong Kim, Michael Vernon, Matthew J. Davis, Miguel A. Cano

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100 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the present study, we examined a bidimensional model of acculturation (which includes both heritage and U.S. practices, values, and identifications) in relation to hazardous alcohol use, illicit drug use, unsafe sexual behavior, and impaired driving. A sample of 3,251 first- and second-generation immigrant students from 30 U.S. colleges and universities completed measures of behavioral acculturation; cultural values (individualism, collectivism, and self-construal); ethnic and U.S. identity; and patterns of alcohol and drug use, engagement in potentially unsafe sexual activities, and driving while (or riding with a driver who was) intoxicated. Results indicate that heritage practices and collectivist values were generally protective against health risk behaviors, with collectivist values most strongly and consistently protective. Nonetheless, heritage identifications were positively associated with sexual risk taking for Hispanics. U.S. practices, values, and identifications were not consistently related to risk behavior participation. Results are discussed in terms of bidimensional approaches to acculturation, the immigrant paradox, and implications for counseling practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-41
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Counseling Psychology
Volume58
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

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Keywords

  • Acculturation
  • Drug use
  • Ethnic identity
  • Immigrants
  • Sexual risk taking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Psychology

Cite this

Schwartz, S. J., Weisskirch, R. S., Zamboanga, B. L., Castillo, L. G., Ham, L. S., Huynh, Q. L., Park, I. J. K., Donovan, R., Kim, S. Y., Vernon, M., Davis, M. J., & Cano, M. A. (2011). Dimensions of Acculturation: Associations With Health Risk Behaviors Among College Students From Immigrant Families. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 58(1), 27-41. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0021356