An acculturation scale for Southeast Asians

  • J. Anderson
  • M. Moeschberger
  • M. S. ChenJr
  • P. Kunn
  • M. E. Wewers
  • R. Guthrie


This article reports the development of an acculturation scale for Southeast Asian immigrants. From factor analyses of responses on 13 items obtained from samples of three different Southeast Asian ethnic groups, i.e., Cambodians, Laotians, and Vietnamese, two subscales were derived: (1) proficiency in languages (land of origin versus English), and (2) language, social and food (LSF) preferences. Inter-item reliability of the scales was demonstrated for each of the three ethnic groups, with Cronbach alpha coefficients of 0.76 or above. Construct validity was also established within each of the three ethnic groups by demonstrating expected associations of the subscales with current age, years in the USA, total years of education, percentage of lifetime in the USA, and age on entering the USA. Multivariate analyses within each of the ethnic groups revealed that, once controlling for years of education, percentage of lifetime in the USA, and type of health care coverage, although not significant for the Cambodians (P=0.08) males tended to show higher scores for the proficiency in language subscale in comparison to females. Similar multivariate analyses for the LSF preference subscale showed that although slightly higher for the males, the differences between the genders was not significant for the Cambodians (P=0.78); both the Laotian (P=0.23) and Vietnamese (P=0.01) females showed higher scores in comparison to males although only just reaching significance for the Vietnamese.


Public Health Health Care Multivariate Analysis Ethnic Group Construct Validity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Atkinson DR, Gim RH (1989) Asian-American cultural, identity and attitudes. J Consult Psychol 36: 209–212Google Scholar
  2. Berry JW (1986) The acculturation process and refugee behavior. In: Williams CL, Westermeyer J (ed) Refugee mental health in resettlement countries. Hemisphere, New York, pp 25–36Google Scholar
  3. Celano M, Tyler F (1990) Behavioral acculturation among Vietnamese refugees in the United States. J Consult Psychol 131: 373–385.Google Scholar
  4. Chen MS Jr, Kuun P, Guthrie, R, et al. (1991) Promoting heart health for Southeast Asians: a database for planning intervention. Public Health Rep 106: 304–309Google Scholar
  5. Crobach L, (1951) Coefficient alpha and the internal structure of tests. Psychometrics 16: 297–334.Google Scholar
  6. Cuellar I, Harris LC, Jasso R (1980) An acculturation scale for Mexican American normal and clinical population. J Behav Sci 2: 199–217Google Scholar
  7. Deyo RA, Hazuda AK, Stern MP (1985) A simple language-based acculturation scale for Mexican Americans: validation and application to health care research. Am J Public Health 84: 51–55Google Scholar
  8. Hazuda, HD, Haffner SM, Stern MP, Eifler C (1988) Effects of acculturation and socioeconomic status on obesity and diabetes in Mexican Americans. Am J Epidemiol 128: 1289–1301Google Scholar
  9. Hazuda HP, Stern MP, Haffner SM (1988b) Acculturation and assimilation among Mexican Americans: scales and populationbased data. Soc Sci Q 69: 687–706Google Scholar
  10. Kaplan M, Marks G (1990) Adverse effects of acculturation: Psychological distress among Mexican American young adults. Soc Sci Med 31: 1313–1319Google Scholar
  11. Kim JO, Mueller CW (1978) Factor analysis: statistical methods and practical issues Sage, Beverly HillsGoogle Scholar
  12. Marin G, Sabogal F, Marin BV, Otero-Sabogal R, Perez-Stable EJ (1987) Development of a short acculturation scale for Hispanics. His J Behav Sci 9: 183–205Google Scholar
  13. Marin G, Perez-Stable EJ, Marin BV (1989 Cigarette smoking among San Francisco Hispanics: the role of acculturation and gender. Am J Public Health 79: 196–198Google Scholar
  14. Marmot MG, Syme SL, Sacks ST, Kwok LW (1976) Acculturation and coronary heart disease in Japanese-Americans. Am J Epidemiol 104: 225–247Google Scholar
  15. Mavreas V, Bebbington P, Der G (1989) The structure and validity of acculturation: analysis of an acculturation scale. Soc Psychiatr Epidemiol 24: 233–240Google Scholar
  16. Olmedo EL, Padilla AM (1978) Empirical and construct validation of a measure of acculturation for Mexican Americans. J Soc Psychol 105: 179–197Google Scholar
  17. Pomales J, Williams V (1989) Effects of level acculturation and counseling style on Hispanic students' perception of counselor J Consult Psychol 36: 79–83Google Scholar
  18. Sarle WS (1986) The MRANK procedure. SAS Inst (SUGI, version 5), Carry N. C., p. 361–375Google Scholar
  19. SAS Institute Inc. SAS/STATUser's Guide Version 6 4th edn, vol 1, Cary, N.C; SAS Institute Inc., 1989, 943ppGoogle Scholar
  20. SAS Institute Inc. SUGI Supplement Library User's Guide Version 5 Cary, N. C.: SAS, Institute Inc. 1986, 662ppGoogle Scholar
  21. Sodowsky GR, Plake BS (1991) Psychometric properties of the American-International Relations Scale. Educ Psychol Meas 81: 207–217Google Scholar
  22. Sodowsky GR, Lai EWM, Plake BS (1991) Moderating effects of sociocultural variables on acculturation attitudes of Hispanics and Asian Americans. J Consult Dev 70: 194–204Google Scholar
  23. Solis JM, Marks G, Garcia M, Shelton D (1990) Acculturation, access to care, and use of preventive services by Hispanics: Findings from HHANES 1982–84. Am J Public Health 80 [Suppl]: 11–19Google Scholar
  24. Suinn R, Richkare-Figueroa K, Lew S, Vigil P (1987) The Suinn-Lew Asian Self-Identity Acculturation Scale: an initial report. Educ Psychol Meas 47: 401–407Google Scholar
  25. Szapocznik J, Kurtines W (1980) Acculturation, biculturalism, and adjustment among Cuban Americans. In: Padilla AM (ed) Acculaturation: theory, models, and some new findings. Westview Boulder, Colo., pp 139–159Google Scholar
  26. Szapocznik J, Scopetta MA, Kurtines W, Aranalde M (1978) Theory and measurement of acculturation. Inter-Am JP 12: 113–130Google Scholar
  27. Tran TV (1988) Sex differences in English language, acculturation and learning strategies among Vietnamese adults aged 40 and over in the United States. Sex Roles 19: 747–759Google Scholar
  28. Wong-Rieger D, Quintana D (1987) Comparative acculturation of Southeast Asian and Hispanic immigrants and sojourners. ICross-Cuit Psych 18: 345–362Google Scholar
  29. Yano K, Blackwelder, WC, Kagan A, Rhoads GG, Cohen JB, Marmot MG (1979) Childhood cultural experiences and the incidence of coronary heart disease in Hawaii Japanesemen. Am J Epidemiol 109: 440–450Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Anderson
    • 3
  • M. Moeschberger
    • 3
  • M. S. ChenJr
    • 3
  • P. Kunn
    • 3
  • M. E. Wewers
    • 1
  • R. Guthrie
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Life Span Processes, College of NursingOhio State UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Department of Emergency MedicineOhio State UniversityUSA
  3. 3.M-12 Starling Loving Dept. of Preventive MedicineOhio State UniversityColumbusUSA

Personalised recommendations