“It’s the Best of Both Worlds!”: Investigating Bicultural Stress in Adult Bicultural Canadians


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DOI:

https://doi.org/10.29333/ejecs/1870

Keywords:

biculturalism, bicultural stress, bicultural identity development, Canadian context

Abstract

This study delves into the ecological factors that predict bicultural stress among bicultural adult Canadians while uncovering common themes surrounding their bicultural identity and developmental journey. A sample of bicultural Canadians (N = 147; 88% female, Mage = 20.72) participated in an online survey consisting of standardized self-report measures and open-ended inquiries about their bicultural experience. The study identified factors contributing to current levels of bicultural stress through regression analysis. Additionally, thematic analysis was conducted to explore participants’ narratives about their bicultural experiences. Participants were of diverse racial/ethnic Canadian backgrounds (Middle Eastern, n = 50; East and Southeast Asian, n = 22; South Asian, n = 27; Black, n = 21; multiple ethnicities, n = 22; Latin, n = 5). The regression results demonstrated that ethnic identity, family cultural socialization towards heritage culture, perceived discrimination, and generational status contributed to feelings of bicultural stress. Thematic analysis revealed a developmental trajectory encompassing participants’ realization of their bicultural identity, navigating bicultural stress, and cultivating an appreciation for their dual cultures. Findings suggest that bicultural individuals’ interactions with their social environment may develop their bicultural identity towards more positive outcomes as they approach adulthood.

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Author Biographies

Carolyn Tran, University of Windsor

Carolyn Tran, M.A., is a Ph.D. candidate in Applied Social Psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Windsor, Windsor, Canada. She is a second-generation Canadian and a first-generation student. Her research examines the experiences of bicultural Canadians with racism and racial microaggressions in the education system.

Kathryn Lafreniere, University of Windsor

Kathryn Lafreniere, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Psychology Department at the University of Windsor, where she has been employed since 1991. She teaches courses in cultural diversity, community psychology, health psychology, and ethical issues. Her research examines individual and societal influences on health and well-being, with a particular focus on risk-taking behaviors.

Ben C.H. Kuo, University of Windsor

Ben C.H. Kuo, Ph.D., conducts studies and publishes in the areas of cross-cultural psychology and multicultural counselling/psychotherapy. His main research focuses on the topics of acculturation, cultural stress and coping, professional help-seeking attitudes and behaviors, and cultural adjustment and mental health issues among immigrants and culturally diverse populations in North America and internationally. Currently, Dr. Kuo teaches and supervises graduate students in clinical psychology programs through a multicultural psychotherapy practicum and a didactic multicultural counselling/psychotherapy course.

Kathryn Edmunds, University of Windsor

Kathryn Edmunds, Ph.D., RN, is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Windsor, Ontario. My teaching and research interests include using a critical theoretical perspective to explore relationships among displacement, gendered migration, structural violence, and health experienced by temporary agricultural workers in Canada using qualitative analysis, and how the concepts of culture, power and cultural safety are utilized in nursing and healthcare.

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Published

2024-02-04

How to Cite

Tran, C., Lafreniere, K. ., Kuo, B. ., & Edmunds, K. (2024). “It’s the Best of Both Worlds!”: Investigating Bicultural Stress in Adult Bicultural Canadians. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies, 11(1), 58–79. https://doi.org/10.29333/ejecs/1870

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Original Manuscript
Received 2023-09-28
Accepted 2024-01-20
Published 2024-02-04