Existential hazards of the multicultural individual: Defining and understanding “cultural homelessness.”

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive on 2011-04-03 23:21Z by Steven

Existential hazards of the multicultural individual: Defining and understanding “cultural homelessness.”

Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology
Volume 5, Number 1 (February 1999)
pages 6-26.
DOI: 10.1037/1099-9809.5.1.6

Veronica Navarrete-Vivero
University of North Texas

Sharon Rae Jenkins, Professor of Psychology
University of North Texas

Discusses cultural homelessness (CH), the unique experiences and feelings reported by some multicultural individuals. Ethnically related concepts found in the cross-cultural and multiethnic literature (eg., marginality, intercultural effectiveness, ethnic enclaves, and reference group) are used to explain how CH may arise from cross-cultural tensions within the ethnically mixed family and between the family and its culturally different environment, especially due to geographic moves. CH is conceptualized as a situationally imposed developmental challenge, forcing the child to accommodate to contradictory and changing norms, values, verbal and nonverbal communication styles, and attachment processes. Culturally homeless individuals may enjoy a broader, stronger cognitive and social repertoire because of their multiple cultural frames of reference. However, code-switching complexities may lead to emotional and social confusion, which, if internalized, may result in self-blame and shame. Culturally encoded emotion labeling may be disrupted, leading to alexithymia.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Ethnically mixed individuals: Cultural Homelessness or Multicultural Integration?

Posted in Dissertations, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive on 2010-05-22 03:05Z by Steven

Ethnically mixed individuals: Cultural Homelessness or Multicultural Integration?

University of North Texas
May 1999
260 pages
15 tables, 6 illustrations, references, 273 titles

Veronica Navarrete-Vivero, B. S. CPR
University of North Texas

Thesis Prepared for the Degree of Master of Science of Psychology

Studies addressing racial/ethnic identity development have often overlooked the developmental cultural context. The impact of growing up with contradictory cultures has not been well explored. Immersion in multiple cultures may produce mixed patterns of strengths deficits.

This study reviews the literature’s currently inconsistent usage of the terms race, ethnicity, and culture; introduces the concept and theoretical framework of Cultural Homelessness [(CH)]; relates CH to multicultural integration; and develops two study-specific measures (included) to examine the construct validity of CH.

The sample’s (N= 448, 67% women) racial, ethnic, and cultural mixture was coded back three generations using complex coding criteria. Empirical findings supported the CH-specific pattern of cognitive and social strengths with emotional difficulties: social adaptability and cross-cultural competence but also low self-esteem and shame regarding differences.

Table of Contents


    Controversial Definitions of and Processes
    Conflicting Approaches to Theory Development
    Theoretical Frameworks for this Study
    Self and Ethnic Identity Development
    Recruitment and Data Collection Procedures
    Descriptive Statistics
    Association Among Variables
    Hypotheses Tests
    Exploratory Analyses


List of Tables

1. Theoretical CH Domain Criteria
2. Risk Factors for the Development of Cultural Homelessness
3. Hypothesized Consequences of Multicultural Experiences
4. Sample’s Demographic Characteristics
5. Sample’s Racial, Ethnic, & Cultural Characteristics
6. CHRiF Items by Systems Model Levels
7. Conceptually Derived CH Criteria Items
8. Domains Measured by the ICME Scales
9. Multicultural Variables Means & S.D.
10. CHRiF Scores: Means, S.D., & Interlevel Correlations
11. Theoretical vs Empirical CH Domain Criteria
12. Theoretically vs. Empirically Derived Items and Domains
13. Factored Item’s Loadings, Interitem Correlations, and Reliabilities
14. CH Criteria, Risk Factors, ICME, & MC Distributions
15. Correlations: CH, Risk Factors, ICME, and MC Variables

List of Illustrations

1. Conceptual Categorization by Ethnic Group Preference and Acculturation
2. Categorization by Parental Race and Ethnicity
3. Categorization by Family and Socio-Cultural Environment
4. General Systems Model of Communication
5. General Systems Model: Top-Down View
6. Marcia’s Ego Identity Status Model

Read the entire thesis here.