This study applies advanced conceptualization and measurement to an analysis of acculturation among 1632 Mexican-heritage preadolescents. We assessed whether - and how - multiple measures combine to form a latent acculturation construct that groups individuals into classes; and determine how many and what classes (or types) of acculturation are experienced by this sample of 5th graders. Measures included attitudinal, behavioral, and linguistic acculturation, generation status, time in the US, ethnic identification, and contact with the culture of origin. The analysis identified five classes of acculturation, differing in size and characterized by specific measures of acculturation: less acculturated, moderately bicultural, strongly bicultural, highly acculturated, and marginalized. Although most youths fell into the first four classes, consonant with their exposure to American society, a small minority of youths fell into the last class. Despite substantial exposure to US culture and recent exposure to Mexican culture, these youth showed little affinity for either culture.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science