Ethnic identity in acculturation research: A study of multiple identities of Jewish refugees from the former Soviet Union

Irena Persky, Dina Birman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

46 Scopus citations


This study explored the salience and predictive value of the identity dimension of acculturation among 351 Jewish refugees from the former Soviet Union in the United States. Whereas bidirectional acculturation models consider only two identities - ethnic identification with the culture of origin (Russian) and identification as a member of one's new society (American) - this study broadens the examination of identity to include a third component - Jewish identity. Jewish identity was found to be the most salient of the three but predicted only one of the aspects of psychological adjustment - alienation. Findings underscore the need for the acculturation field to incorporate the possibility of more than two cultures into the explanatory framework and to examine the extent to which ethnocultural identities are contextually bound.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)557-573
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2005
Externally publishedYes



  • Acculturation
  • Ethnic identity
  • Immigrants
  • Multiethnic groups
  • Refugees

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology

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