The Effects of Acculturative Stress and Ethnic Identity on Bilingualism and Bilingual Attitudes in Latino Adolescents

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Dr. Lorna Hernandez Jarvis, Hope College

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This study examined the effects of acculturative stress and ethnic identity on Latino adolescents’ (N=244) bilingual attitudes and bilingualism using cross-sectional questionnaire data. Stress was predicted to be negatively correlated with bilingual attitudes and bilingualism while Ethnic Identity was predicted to be positively correlated with the bilingual measures. The questionnaire included demographic measures, the Multi-group Ethnic Identity Measure, the Acculturation Rating Scale for Mexican Americans II, Baker’s (1992) Attitudes Toward Bilingualism Scale, Bilingualism Patterns Measure, and the Societal, Attitudinal, Familial, and Environmental Stress Scale for Children. The analyses indicated that adolescents with higher acculturative stress and ethnic identity reported more positive bilingual attitudes. Bilingual participants reported higher stress levels and higher ethnic identity than English monolinguals.

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