Abstract

According to acculturation gap-distress theory, parent-offspring differences in cultural orientations set the stage for intergenerational cultural conflict, which may contribute to poor psychological adjustment among Asian American offspring. Although cross-sectional research has demonstrated robust links between intergenerational cultural conflict and poor psychological adjustment, a small number of longitudinal studies have yielded mixed evidence for the theorized pathway of acculturation gap-distress. To address limitations of existing research, I aimed to examine between- and within-person associations between intergenerational cultural conflict and psychological adjustment in a three-wave longitudinal panel study. Participants were Asian American first-year college students (N = 475; 55.6% women; Mage = 18.00; 70.7% U.S.-born) who reported their frequency of intergenerational cultural conflict, neuroticism, and internalizing symptoms, subjective well-being, and self-esteem across three measurement occasions. Latent growth curve modeling was used to examine the changes in intergenerational cultural conflict over time. Using multilevel modeling, I examined the prospective within- and between-person associations between intergenerational cultural conflict and psychological adjustment, and the extent to which neuroticism and gender moderated the within-person associations. The frequency of intergenerational cultural conflict decreased across measurement occasions. There were significant between-person associations between intergenerational cultural conflict and psychological adjustment in the hypothesized direction. There were significant within-person associations between education and career-related intergenerational cultural conflict and internalizing symptoms over time. Neither neuroticism nor gender moderated the within-person associations between intergenerational cultural conflict and psychological adjustment. Data supported acculturation gap-distress theory among Asian American college students. Theoretical implications are discussed.

Degree Date

2020

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Psychology

Advisor

P. Priscilla Lui

Subject Area

Psychology, Clinical

Number of Pages

85

Format

.pdf

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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