Master's Theses

Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Deidre Anglin

Second Advisor

Adriana Espinosa

Third Advisor

Glen Milstein

Keywords

Cultural Identity, psychosis, Bi-cultural identity integration

Abstract

Empirical research has shown an increased prevalence of psychosis among immigrant groups living in Westernized contexts. Cultural identity has been researched as a risk/protective factor for psychosis; however no consistent result has emerged. Cultural identity captures an individuals’ sense of belonging in a particular cultural group (s), including one’s ethnic group (i.e. ethnic identity), and/or mainstream society (i.e. national identity). While previous research has considered both immigrants’ ethnic and national identity in relationship to psychosis, current research has not looked at whether the relationship of one identity to the other impacts psychosis. Bicultural identity integration (BII) describes the degree to which an individual’s cultural identities are complementary versus oppositional. Having a high BII has been linked to increased well-being even after controlling for the relative strength of each cultural identity. The present study expands on previous research by examining the effects of ethnic and national identity on attenuated positive psychotic symptoms (APPS) in conjunction with BII. A sample of 123 immigrant emerging adults completed self-report inventories of psychosis risk, ethnic and national identity, and BII. Linear regression analyses were conducted to assess the direct association between BII, cultural identity, and APPS. Results indicated that increased cultural identity harmony (a component of BII) was associated with fewer APPS endorsed. In addition, having either a strong ethnic or national identity but not both or neither was related to endorsing less APPS. Cultural conflict may increase immigrants’ risk for psychosis. Certain cultural identity combinations may be associated with more cultural conflict.

 
 

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