Dimensions of Biculturalism: The Role of Age, Gender and Racial/Ethnic Group Membership.
Abstract: A growing number of children of color in the United States negotiate
multiple cultures each day. Previous research has examined the potential advantages to
developing bicultural competence. This dissertation through a multidimensional approach
examines the relationship between demographic characteristics (age, gender, race/ethnicity)
and dimensions of bicultural competence. Data for ... read morethis dissertation were drawn from the
YouthBEAT Research and Evaluation Study of Music and Youth Development. The sample was
comprised of 97 racially diverse adolescents who were enrolled in after-school music
programs with an emphasis on contemporary music curriculum. Findings indicate that
racial/ethnic group membership may play a role in the development of specific dimensions of
bicultural competence (Affiliation and Comfort with Heritage Cultural Community and
Commitment to Mainstream American Community). Black and Latino adolescents reported higher
levels of connection to their heritage cultural communities than did European American
adolescents. Additionally, Latino adolescents reported lower levels of engagement with the
values, beliefs and practices of the mainstream American community than did European
American adolescents. A significant positive association was also found between connection
to heritage cultural community and connection to mainstream American community. Overall,
findings suggest that the connection to heritage cultural community is an integral factor
in the development of bicultural competence for Black and Latino adolescents. Future
directions and implications for supporting the educational success of adolescents of color
are also discussed.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Tufts University, 2014.
Submitted to the Dept. of Child Development.
Advisor: Kathleen Camara.
Committee: Jayanthi Mistry, Sabina Vaught, and Janie Ward.
Keyword: Developmental psychology.read less