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14-09-2017 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 1/2018

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 1/2018

Is Integration Always most Adaptive? The Role of Cultural Identity in Academic Achievement and in Psychological Adaptation of Immigrant Students in Germany

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 1/2018
Auteurs:
Kristin Schotte, Petra Stanat, Aileen Edele

Abstract

Immigrant adaptation research views identification with the mainstream context as particularly beneficial for sociocultural adaptation, including academic achievement, and identification with the ethnic context as particularly beneficial for psychological adaptation. A strong identification with both contexts is considered most beneficial for both outcomes (integration hypothesis). However, it is unclear whether the integration hypothesis applies in assimilative contexts, across different outcomes, and across different immigrant groups. This study investigates the association of cultural identity with several indicators of academic achievement and psychological adaptation in immigrant adolescents (N = 3894, 51% female, M age= 16.24, SD age = 0.71) in Germany. Analyses support the integration hypothesis for aspects of psychological adaptation but not for academic achievement. Moreover, for some outcomes, findings vary across immigrant groups from Turkey (n = 809), the former Soviet Union (n = 712), and heterogeneous other countries (n = 2373). The results indicate that the adaptive potential of identity integration is limited in assimilative contexts, such as Germany, and that it may vary across different outcomes and groups. As each identification is positively associated with at least one outcome, however, both identification dimensions seem to be important for the adaptation of immigrant adolescents.

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