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US Immigrants’ Patterns of Acculturation are Sensitive to Their Age, Language, and Cultural Contact but Show No Evidence of a Sensitive Window for Acculturation

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Recent research observed a sensitive window, at about 14 years of age, in the acculturation rates of Chinese immigrants to Canada. Tapping an online sample of us immigrants (n=569), we tested these relationships in a broader population and explored connections with new potentially causally related variables: formal education, language ability and contact with heritage-culture and mainstream United States individuals, both now and at immigration. While we found that acculturation decreased with age at immigration and increased with years in the us, we did not observe a similar sensitive window (i.e., change in rate with age). We also present an exploratory path analysis, exposing the relationships in our sample between acculturation and the variables above. The novel relationships documented here can improve theorising about this rich and complex empirical phenomenon.

Affiliations: 1: School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State UniversityTempe Campus, 900 Cady Mall, Tempe, AZ 85287USA; 2: Department of Psychology, University of British ColumbiaVancouver Campus, 2136 West Mall, Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z4


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