Puerto Rican And US Essay Research Paper

Puerto Rican And U.S. Essay, Research Paper Most instruments designed to measure acculturation have relied on specific cultural behaviors and preferences as primary indicators of

Puerto Rican And U.S. Essay, Research Paper

Most instruments designed to measure acculturation have relied on

specific cultural behaviors and preferences as primary indicators of

acculturation. In contrast, feelings of belonging and emotional

attachment to cultural communities have not been widely used. The

Psychological Acculturation Scale (PAS) was developed to assess

acculturation from a phenomenological perspective, with items

pertaining to the individual’s sense of psychological attachment to

and belonging within the Anglo-American and Latino/Hispanic cultures.

Responses from samples of bilingual individuals and Puerto Rican

adolescents and adults are used to establish a high degree of

measurement equivalence across the Spanish and English versions of the

scale along with high levels of internal consistency and construct

validity. The usefulness of the PAS and the importance of studying

acculturation from a phenomenological perspective are discussed.

Psychological acculturation refers to changes in individuals’

psychocultural orientations that develop through involvement and

interaction within new cultural systems. Rather than conceptualizing

acculturation as a process in which people lose connection to their

original culture (Gordon, 1978), new research has emphasized the

individual’s negotiation of two cultural entities (Berry, Poortinga,

Segall, & Dasen, 1992; Buriel, 1993). Responding to distinct sets of

norms from the culture of origin and the host culture, acculturating

individuals emerge with their own interpretation of appropriate

values, customs, and practices as they negotiate between cultural

contexts (Berry, 1980). People vary greatly in their abilities to

function within new cultural environments (LaFromboise, Coleman, &

Gerton, 1993) and may seek different levels of attachment to and

involvement in a host culture or their culture(s) of origin (Padilla,

1980).

To study individuals’ cultural orientations, measures of acculturation

traditionally have focused on individuals’ behaviors and behavioral

preferences and have relied heavily on language use and other

behaviors as indicators of acculturation (Marin, Sabogal, VanOss

Matin, Otero-Sabogal, & Perez-Stable, 1987; Szapocznik, Kurtines, &

Fernandez, 1980). For example, Szapocznik et al. (1980) described

acculturation as based in two primary dimensions: cultural behaviors

and values. Paralleling their conceptualization of acculturation, the

Behavioral Acculturation Scale (Szapocznik, Scopetta, Kurtines, &

Aranalde, 1978) includes items most closely related to cultural

behaviors and preferences (e.g., “What language do you speak at home?”

and “What language do you prefer to speak?”).

Similarly, Cuellar, Harris, and Jasso (1980) measured acculturation

with items pertaining primarily to cultural behaviors and values

(e.g., “What language do you prefer?”). This measure also included

several items concerning migration history (e.g., “Where were you

raised?”) and one item concerning ethnic self-identification (i.e.,

“How do you identify yourself?”). These factors can be important in

interpreting individuals’ acculturation experiences; however, rather

than assessing personal acculturation factors and sociodemographic

factors as separate concepts, Cuellar et al. (1980) combined these

items within the same measure.

We feel that this approach may be problematic in two primary ways.

First, such modes of measurement blur distinctions between factual

histories of individuals (e.g., age of arrival on the U.S. mainland)

and the assessment of individuals’ acculturative change. Second,

measures heavily based on cultural behaviors may not assess adequately

individuals’ acceptance and understanding of the values from each

culture (Betancourt & Lopez, 1993; Rogler, 1994) or grant sufficient

attention to individuals’ emotional attachments to each culture

(Estrada, 1993).

Alternatively, new instruments can be designed to measure

acculturation as it is psychologically experienced by the individual.

Reviews of the acculturation literature have identified cultural

loyalty, solidarity, identification, and comprehension as overlapping

elements of psychological responses to cultural exposure (Berry, 1980;

Betancourt & Lopez, 1993; Szapocznik & Kurtines, 1980). To assess

these psychological components of acculturation, the 10-item

Psychological Acculturation Scale (PAS) was developed. Unlike

traditional measures, the PAS targets individuals’ psychological

negotiation of two cultural entities (in this case, Anglo-American

culture and Latino/Hispanic culture), with particular attention to

their sense of emotional attachment to and understanding of each

culture. This set of studies was designed to assess the psychometric

properties of the PAS. In particular, cross-language equivalence,

internal consistency, and convergent and discriminant validity were

examined.

CROSS-LANGUAGE EQUIVALENCE

Back translation and decentering are widely used methods for

determining cross-language equivalence of a scale (Brislin, 1986). For

example, to create a Spanish version of an English-language measure,

one person translates from English to Spanish, and a different person

translates the Spanish version back into English. Discrepancies in the

translated versions are resolved through decentering, a process of

several iterations whereby the measure is pulled away from the

idiosyncrasies of the source language (i.e., the original

English-language version).

We share the concerns of Bontempo (1993) and Olmedo (1981) about the

validity of this accepted procedure. Even when original and

back-translated versions are quite similar, measurement equivalence

can still not be assumed or guaranteed for the two language versions

because concepts and wordings for scale items originally were produced

in only the source language (Bontempo, 1993; Olmedo, 1981). As an

alternative, we have developed a dual-focus approach to creating

bilingual measures, whereby the conceptual content of each item is

developed and then words are generated to express that concept in each

language (see Erkut, Alarc6n, Garcia Coil, Tropp, & Vazquez, in press,

for details of this procedure). In developing the PAS, our goal has

been to compose item wordings that express the relevant concepts with

equal clarity, affect, and level of usage in both languages.

CONVERGENT AND DISCRIMINANT VALIDITY

Convergent and discriminant validity were assessed by examining the

predicted relationships between respondents’ psychological

acculturation scores and traditional validation measures of

acculturation (e.g., place of birth, percentage of lifetime living on

the U.S. mainland) as well as culture-specific behaviors and

preferences that have been employed in other acculturation scales.

Paralleling the results from previous studies of acculturation (e.g.,

Matin et al., 1987; Szapocznik et al., 1978; Triandis, Kashima, Hui,

Lisansky, & Matin, 1982), we expected psychological acculturation

scores to be higher among respondents with greater exposure to the new

culture (i.e., Anglo-American culture) and greater exposure to English

during childhood. Similarly, we predicted that respondents’ language

preferences for completing the questionnaires would be associated with

their psychological acculturation scores, such that those who chose

the Spanish version would tend to have lower psychological

acculturation scores than those who chose the English version.

Finally, we also predicted that psychological acculturation scores

would be better predictors of individuals’ cultural behaviors and

preferences than would their degree of exposure to the new culture.

Three studies were conducted to document the psychometric properties

of the PAS.

Study 1

The first study was designed to examine internal consistency and

cross-language equivalence with respect to respondents’ scores on the

PAS.

Method

SAMPLE AND PROCEDURES

Respondents were recruited through community centers and neighborhood

contacts in several districts within the greater Boston area.

Respondents received $10 for their participation, which consisted of

completing a questionnaire.

Participants in this study were 36 self-identified bilingual Latinos

(10 men and 26 women). Respondents’ ages ranged from 13 to 58 years (M

= 28.6 years). Of the respondents, 13 were born on the mainland of the

United States and all others were born in Puerto Rico, Mexico, or

other Spanish-speaking countries in Central and South America.

Percentage of lifetime in the United States was calculated by dividing

the number of years living in the U.S. mainland by the age of the

respondent (an index previously used in research by Marin et al.

[1987] and Triandis et al. [1982]). Respondents’ percentage of

lifetime in the United States ranged from 4% to 100% (M = 75.2%).

All respondents responded to both Spanish and English versions of the

questionnaire. Spanish and English versions were presented to each

respondent in a random order.

MEASURE

Psychological Acculturation Scale. The PAS consists of 10 items

concerning individuals’ psychological responses to differing cultural

contexts (see Table 1). Item wordings for the PAS were generated

simultaneously in Spanish and English by a team of bilingual,

bicultural, and monocultural researchers. No items were included in

the scale which could not be directly and easily expressed with

parallel wording in both languages.

Subsequently, all potential items were discussed in focus groups of

Spanish/ English bilingual adolescents and adults drawn in the greater

Boston area. Items were continuously reworded, as suggested by

feedback from successive focus groups and discussions among members of

the research team. Altogether, six focus groups were conducted, at

which time both focus group participants and research team members

were satisfied with item wordings and felt no further revisions were

necessary.

A readability analysis was conducted for items on the English version

of the PAS, using the Microsoft Word 5.0 grammar program (no Spanish

grammar program was available). The Flesch estimate of reading ease

(74.7%) indicated that the English version of the PAS is fairly

readable, corresponding with a Grade 6 to 7 reading level.

Item responses for the PAS were scored on a 9-point Likert-type scale,

ranging from 1 (only Hispanic/Latino) to 9 (only Anglo/American), with

a bicultural orientation defining its midpoint. Thus, a bicultural

orientation (equally Hispanic/Latino and Anglo/American) could be

defined as a parallel sense of connection to both cultures (Cuellar et

al., 1980).

In addition, items regarding migration history, language use, and

other demographic variables were included in the questionnaires

distributed to each respondent.

Results

CROSS-LANGUAGE EQUIVALENCE

On a 9-point scale, mean PAS scores were 4.37 (SD = .86) and 4.42 (SD

-1.06) for the Spanish and English versions, respectively. Means and

standard deviations for the Spanish and English versions of scale

items are provided in Table 1. Mean item scores were nearly identical

for each language version, showing a high degree of consistency in

respondents’ scores across the Spanish and English versions.

The correlation between individuals’ total PAS scores from the Spanish

and English versions was also extremely high, r(35) = .94, suggesting

a high degree of cross-language measurement equivalence. Individual

Spanish/ English version item-to-item correlations ranged from .70 to

.92, with the exception of two: (a) “In what culture(s) do you feel

confident that you know how to act?” r(36) = .37; and (b) “In what

culture(s) do you know what is expected of a person in various

situations?” r(36) = .64.

INTERNAL CONSISTENCY

Alpha coefficients of reliability for scores on the Spanish and

English versions of the PAS were .83 and .85, respectively. Item total

correlations ranged from .22 and .68 for scores on the Spanish version

and from .27 and .71 for the English version, indicating highly

similar patterns of item total correlations across individuals’

responses to the two versions.

Study 2

The results from the first study indicated that scores on each

language version of the PAS were internally consistent and that

individuals’ responses to the PAS were highly comparable across the

two language versions. Still, much research on Latinos has been

criticized for treating members of different Latino subgroups as part

of one homogeneous population (Marin & VanOss Marin, 1991). Therefore,

a second study was designed to examine psychometric properties of the

PAS within a more specific subgroup of Latino respondents. To date,

most acculturation measures have been validated using Mexican American

respondents. In this study, Puerto Rican respondents were used for two

reasons: (a) Puerto Ricans tend to be underrepresented in validation

studies of acculturation measures, and (b) Puerto Ricans are the

largest Latino subgroup in the northeast region of the United States.

Method

SAMPLE AND PROCEDURES

Respondents were recruited for participation in the same manner as in

Study 1. A total of 107 Puerto Ricans participated in this study,

including 39 males and 64 females (4 respondents did not state their

gender). Respondents’ ages ranged from 12 to 58 years (M = 27.9

years). Of the respondents, 85 were born in Puerto Rico and 21 were

born on the U.S. mainland. Respondents’ percentage of lifetime spent

in the United States ranged from 77% to 100% (M = 92%).

MEASURES

The measures used in Study 2 were equivalent to those employed in the

first study. However, in this study, respondents were asked to respond

only to one questionnaire in the language of their choice (i.e.,

either the Spanish version or the English version).

Cultural behaviors and preferences. Items pertaining to cultural

behaviors and preferences were adapted from traditional acculturation

scales and included in each version of the questionnaire for

validation purposes. Individual items concerning language use (both

reading and speaking), cultural foods, music, holiday celebrations,

and family celebrations were inspired by items on the Marin et al.

(1987) and Szapocznik et al. (1978) scales. Parallel items were

included to address actual cultural behaviors (e.g., How do you

celebrate family events?) and individuals’ preferences for cultural

behaviors (e.g., How do you prefer to celebrate family events?),

yielding a total of 12 items added to each questionnaire.

Complementing the response format for the PAS items, these items were

scored on a 9-point scale, ranging from 1 (only Spanish) to 9 (only

English).

Items pertaining to language reading and speaking were combined to

create composite measures of language use (behavior items) and

preferred language use (preference items); alpha coefficients of

reliability were .90 for scores on the language use measure and .80

for scores on the preferred language use measure. Scores on the

remaining behavior and preference items yielded low estimates of

internal consistency and were examined individually in data analysis.

Results

INTERNAL CONSISTENCY

Overall, the mean PAS score for this sample was 3.48 on the 9-point

scale (SD = 1.38). Of the respondents, 64 chose to complete the

Spanish version of the PAS and 42 chose the English version. Item

scores on both language versions of the PAS were shown to be

internally consistent, with alpha coefficients of .90 and .83 for the

Spanish and English versions, respectively. Item total correlations

from this sample ranged from between .55 and .81 for the Spanish

version of the PAS and from between .36 and .67 for the English

version.

Because scores from this sample yielded high levels of internal

consistency on both language versions of the PAS, responses to the

Spanish and English versions of the scale were pooled for further data

analysis.

FACTOR ANALYSIS

A principal components analysis yielded a single primary factor of

psychological acculturation, which accounted for 51% of the variance.

No additional factors were extracted beyond this factor because all

other factors’ eigenvalues were below 1.0. Structure coefficients on

this factor ranged from between .64 and .79 (see Table 2).

CONVERGENT AND DISCRIMINANT VALIDITY

Migration history. Respondents born in Puerto Rico tended to have

lower PAS scores (M = 3.3) than did respondents born on the U.S.

mainland, M = 4.2, t(103) = -2.93,p * .01. Thus, individuals born in

Puerto Rico tended to be more Latino-oriented than bicultural.

Furthermore, psychological acculturation (as measured by the PAS) was

correlated positively with percentage of lifetime in the United

States, r(103) = .43, p * .01, such that greater time on the U.S.

mainland corresponded with a more Anglo/American orientation.

Language use. Respondents who chose to complete the questionnaire in

Spanish tended to have lower scores on the PAS (M = 3.1) than did

respondents who completed the questionnaire in English, M = 4.1,

t(104) = -4.22, p * .001. That is, respondents who chose the Spanish

version tended to be more Latino-oriented than were those who chose

the English version. Psychological acculturation also correlated

positively with use of English at home during the respondent’s

childhood, r(106) = .51, p * .01, indicating a greater Anglo/American

orientation with increased use of English in the home.

COMPARING MEASURES OF MIGRATION AND ACCULTURATION

Individuals’ migration histories traditionally have been used as

validation measures for acculturation scales. Although these measures

may be useful, it is also important to acknowledge a qualitative

difference between time spent in a culture and one’s sense of

belonging and attachment to that culture. Multiple regression analyses

were conducted to address this distinction using psychological

acculturation (i.e., respondents’ PAS scores) and percentage of

lifetime in the United States as predictors of the adapted cultural

behavior and preference items.

A separate correlational analysis indicated that the two predictor

variables bore a substantial positive correlation, r(103) = .43, p *

.01. Under such conditions, the standardized regression coefficients

that are obtained from standard regression analyses may be biased and

relatively unreliable, as compared to other indicators (Darlington,

1990). To promote the accurate interpretation of our findings,

semipartial correlations and structure coefficients instead will be

reported. Structure coefficients were computed by dividing the

correlation between each predictor variable and the criterion variable

by the multiple correlation (see Thompson & Borrello, 1985, for a more

detailed discussion of this procedure).

Results indicated that, together, psychological acculturation and

percentage of lifetime in the United States accounted for a

substantial portion of the variance in scores on most of the cultural

behavior and preference measures (R[sup 2] values ranging from. 14 to

.44). In particular, these variables were highly effective as

predictors for behaviors and preferences associated with language use,

although they were somewhat less effective as predictors for behaviors

and preferences associated with cultural foods (see Table 3).

Semipartial correlations and structure coefficients demonstrated high

levels of association between psychological acculturation (i.e.,

respondents’ PAS scores) and scores on all of the cultural behavior

and preference items (see Table 3). In contrast, semipartial

correlations and structure coefficients suggested that percentage of

lifetime in the United States is related fairly strongly to behaviors

and preferences associated with language use and holiday celebrations

yet has relatively weak relationships with respondents’ scores on the

other cultural behavior and preferences items (see Table 3). Thus, the

general pattern of results demonstrates that psychological

acculturation served as a stronger and more consistent correlate of

respondents’ cultural behaviors and preferences than did their

percentage of lifetime spent in the United States.

Study 3

Study 2 replicated findings of high internal consistency and validity

for respondents’ scores on the PAS with a large sample of Puerto Rican

respondents. A third study was conducted to gather further validity

evidence for PAS scores across two distinct age groups (adolescents

and adults) and with two methodological modifications. First, an

interview format was used rather than a self-administered

questionnaire to examine the robustness of the scale across modalities

of administration. Second, the response range was reduced to a 5-point

scale because most respondents from Study 2 used only a portion of the

response options from the 9-point scale.

Method

SAMPLES AND PROCEDURES

Puerto Rican adolescents and their parents were recruited through

door-to-door screening, media advertisements, and community networks

within the greater Boston area. Prospective participants who

identified themselves as Puerto Rican were contacted as part of a

larger study on Puerto Rican adolescent development. Respondents were

given $10 for their participation, which consisted of face-to-face

interviews in their homes. Respondents were interviewed in the

language of their choice (i.e., either Spanish or English) by trained

bilingual and bicultural interviewers. Informed consent was obtained

from respondents prior to the interviews.

Adolescent sample. A total of 247 Puerto Rican 13- and 14-year-old

adolescents participated in this study (118 males and 129 females). Of

the participants, 98 were born in Puerto Rico and 146 were born on the

U.S. mainland (3 were born in other places). Adolescents’ percentage

of lifetime in the United States ranged from less than 1% to 100% (M =

80%).

Parent sample. A total of 228 mothers of the adolescents also

participated in this study, ranging in age from 27 to 57 years (M = 39

years). Of these mothers, 201 were born in Puerto Rico and 21 were

born on the U.S. mainland (6 were born in other places). Parents’

percentage of lifetime in the United States ranged from 85% to 100% (M

= 92%).

MEASURES

For both adolescents and parents, interview protocols included the

same versions of the PAS and the items concerning migration history

and demographic factors, which were used in Studies 1 and 2. However,

we observed that 80% of the respondents from Study 2 did not use

Scores 8, 6, 4, and 2 on the 9-point scale and essentially worked with

a 5-point scale. Therefore, the original 9-point response scales were

collapsed to 5-point scales.

Cultural behaviors and preferences. The same versions of the cultural

behavior and preference items used in Studies 1 and 2 were included in

the interview protocols for this study. To match the format of the

other items, item responses were scored on Likert-type scales ranging

from 1 (only Hispanic/Latino) to 5 (only Anglo/American).

As in the previous studies, behavior and preference items pertaining

to language reading and speaking were combined to create composite

measures of language use (behavior items) and preferred language use

(preference items). Alpha coefficients were .87 and .86 for

adolescents’ and parents’ scores on the language use measure,

respectively. Alpha coefficients were .77 for both adolescents’ and

parents’ scores on the preferred language use measure.

In addition, items pertaining to cultural foods, music, holiday

celebrations, and family celebrations were combined to create

composite measures of cultural behaviors and cultural preferences.

Alpha coefficients of reliability were .72 for both adolescents’ and

parents’ scores on the cultural behaviors measure. Alpha coefficients

of reliability were .75 and .76 for adolescents’ and parents’ scores

on the cultural preferences measure, respectively.

Results

ADOLESCENT SAMPLE

Overall, the mean acculturation score for this sample was 1.57 on the

5-point scale (SD = .62). Scores on the PAS were shown to be

internally consistent, with an alpha coefficient of .91 and item total

correlations ranging from between .52 and .78. A principal components

analysis yielded a single primary factor of psychological

acculturation, which accounted for 55% of the variance. No additional

factors were extracted beyond this factor, considering that the

eigenvalues for all other factors were below 1.0. Structure

coefficients for items on this factor ranged from between .60 and .83

(see Table 2).

Migration history. Respondents born in Puerto Rico tended to have

lower PAS scores (M = 1.33) than did those born on the U.S. mainland,

M = 1.72, t(241) = 4.98, p * .001. Psychological acculturation also

was correlated positively with percentage of lifetime in the United

States, r(247) = .25, p * .01, indicating a stronger Anglo/American

orientation with more time on the U.S. mainland.

Language use. Respondents who chose the Spanish version of the

interview tended to have lower PAS scores (M = 1.52) than did those

who chose the English version, M = 1.99, t(243) = -3.75, p * .01.

Psychological acculturation also correlated positively with use of

English in the home during the respondents’ childhood, r(247) = .40, p

* .01, indicating a stronger Anglo/American orientation with increased

use of English in the home.

PARENT SAMPLE

The overall mean for mothers’ acculturation scores was 1.55 on the

5-point scale (SD = .61). Their scores on the PAS were shown to be

internally consistent, with an alpha coefficient of .91 and item total

correlations ranging from between .53 and .79. A principal components

analysis yielded a single primary factor of psychological

acculturation, which accounted for 56% of the variance. No additional

factors were extracted beyond this factor, and eigenvalues for all

other factors were less than 1.0. Structure coefficients for the items

on this factor ranged from between .61 and .84 (see Table 2).

Migration history. Paralleling the adolescent sample, respondents born

in Puerto Rico tended to have lower PAS scores (M = 1.46) than did

respondents born on the U.S. mainland, M = 2.40, t(219) = 7.53, p *

.001. Psychological acculturation also was correlated positively with

percentage of lifetime in the United States, r(221) = .45, p * .01,

indicating a stronger Anglo/American orientation with more time on the

U.S. mainland.

Language use. Respondents who chose the Spanish version of the

interview tended to have lower PAS scores (M = 1.50) than did those

who chose the English version, M = 2.01, t(224) = -4.00, p * .001.

Psychological acculturation also correlated positively with use of

English in the home during the respondent’s childhood, r(227) = .41, p

* .01, indicating an increased Anglo/American orientation with

increased use of English in the home.

COMPARING MEASURES OF MIGRATION AND ACCULTURATION

As in Study 2, analyses were conducted to address the distinction

between time spent in a given culture and one’s psychological

attachment to that culture. Multiple regression analyses were

performed using psychological acculturation (i.e., respondents’ PAS

scores) and percentage of lifetime in the United States as predictors

of the cultural behavior and preference measures.

Correlational analyses indicated that the two predictor variables were

correlated positively in the adolescent sample, r(246) = .25, p * .01,

and even more highly correlated in the parent sample, r(227) = .56, p

* .01. Semipartial correlations and structure coefficients, therefore,

will be reported to aid in the accurate interpretation of our findings

(see Table 4).

Adolescent sample. Overall, results from these analyses indicated that

psychological acculturation and percentage of lifetime in the Unite

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