Title

Independent and interdependent self-construals of Koreans and Korean-Americans: The effects of gender and the level of acculturation

Date of Completion

January 1998

Keywords

Education, Bilingual and Multicultural|Education, Educational Psychology|Psychology, Personality

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

The current study, using the constructs of independent and interdependent self-construals, examined the effects of gender and the level of acculturation on independent and interdependent self-construals of self-identified 1.5 generation Korean American college students. The 1.5 generation Korean Americans, who consist of bilingual, foreign-born individuals, encounter inherent adjustment difficulties due to the demands of two conflicting cultures. Independent and interdependent self-construals are individual level psychological constructs that reflect individualism and collectivism, respectively.^ One hundred forty-two Korean American college students in the New York City area completed a survey packet consisting of the Self-Construal Scale, Suinn-Lew Asian Self-Identity Acculturation Scale, and a Demographic Questionnaire.^ MANOVA procedures indicated the level of acculturation had a main effect on independent and interdependent self-construals of the 1.5 generation Korean American college students ($F\ \lbrack4,\ 168\rbrack\ = 8.533,\ p < .05$), while gender did not show any statistically significant effect on independent and interdependent self-construals ($p > .05$). Also, the interaction effect of gender by acculturation was not statistically significant ($p > .05$). Subsequent univariate results demonstrated the main effect was statistically significant for the independent self-construal ($F\ \lbrack 2,\ 85\rbrack$ = 5.477, $p < .05$). DFA analysis revealed that the discriminant function equation for the level of acculturation was statistically significant ($X\sp2\ \lbrack 4,\ N = 91\rbrack = 32.589,\ p < .05$).^ The 1.5 and second generation Korean Americans differed significantly on the SCS ($F\ \lbrack 2,\ 139\rbrack = 3.276,\ p < .05$), and self-rated English proficiency (excellent, good, fair) related significantly to independent and interdependent self-construals ($F\ \lbrack 4,\ 276\rbrack = 4.077,\ p < .05$).^ The results from the multivariate analysis involving the combined group of the 1.5 and second generation Korean American college students indicated statistical significance for the level of acculturation ($F\ \lbrack 4,\ 270\rbrack = 15.945,\ p< .05)$.^ The findings of the study suggest that counseling approaches for the 1.5 generation Korean Americans recognize features emphasized in interdependent self-construal and their communication difficulties in English. Recommendations are also offered for future research. ^