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Dr. Katelyn E. Poelker, Psychology

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Identity development is the paramount task of adolescent development and globalization seems to shape identity. Recent research with the world’s adolescents suggests that adolescents hold culturally traditional view of self while adopting some self-identifications of other cultures. Remote acculturation contributes to formation of a remixed identity, and it occurs when an individual internalizes cultural values and identities from a region in which they have never lived. Indirect exposure to other cultures, especially through the media, facilitates the adoption of a remixed identity and the process of remote accultural. Remote acculturation and adolescent identity formation was examined in 129 sixth through twelfth grade students (47.3% male, 52.7% female), at a bilingual school on the south coast of Guatemala. Adolescents completed an open-ended 20 item “I am” test and a remote acculturation measure in English. “I am” responses were coded using an adaptation of Cheek & Cheek’s (2018) identity typology; the codes included personal identity orientation, relational identity orientation, public identity orientation, collective identity orientation, and personal hobbies/activities. For each participant, the number of responses per category was recorded. Across all participants, personal identity was the most commonly endorsed orientation (M = 9.91, SD = 3.71) followed by public identity (M = 3.41, SD = 2.43), then hobbies/activities (M =3.08, SD = 2.93) and collective identity (M =2.16, SD =1.96), and finally, relational identity (M = 2.06, SD =1.57). A series of Analyses of Variance (ANOVAs) were used to compare gender and age differences across the identity domains and revealed a main effect of gender in the hobbies/activities domain; boys were more likely to identify with hobbies/activities than girls. The higher prevalence of responses from the personal identity domain over relational or collective domains suggests potential acculturation among the Guatemalan adolescent sample.

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