Made in America with Mexican Parts: Validating the Bicultural Stressors Measure




Lucero, Jacqueline

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Consistent health disparities among ethnocultural minorities prompted scholars to explore the effects of acculturation, the process that occurs alongside the intermingling of multiple cultures. Pressures to maintain heritage culture and assimilate to the majority culture may cause stress in individuals learning to balance their cultural backgrounds. Existing assessments of acculturative stress exist but have been found lacking in generalizability and conceptual relevance; thus, researchers developed a set of items that purports to measure the stress encountered by someone navigating acculturation. The current thesis provides preliminary evidence for the validity of the 16-item Bicultural Stressors Measure (BSM) developed to capture three separate factors: majority cultural pressures, which in this case captures the pressure to be more aligned with American culture; heritage cultural pressures, which in this case captures the pressure to be more aligned with Mexican culture; and intracultural identity conflict, which examines the stress of navigating both cultures. Results support the three-factor structure, with measurement invariance across geographic regions and sex assigned at birth. The support of the three-factor model has implications regarding the conceptualization of the bicultural experience and acculturative stress; acculturative stress does not simply involve the pressure of each culture individually, but also the pressure of navigating both cultures concurrently. Several bivariate correlations also support the external validity of the BSM with measures previously found to be related to acculturative stress, such as psychological distress symptoms and perceived discrimination, among other concepts.


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acculturation, acculturative stress, bicultural stress, identity, psychometrics