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.
P. Priscilla Lui
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Pham, Savannah, "Disaggregating Within- and Between-Person Variation in the Prospective Relations between Acculturation Gap-Distress and Psychological Adjustment" (2020). Psychology Theses and Dissertations. 26.