AHIMSA Acculturation, Habits, and Interests Multicultural Scale for Adolescents

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Acculturation, Multiculturalism, Culture

Items for the AHIMSA scale were generated by a team of researchers from the Cultural Dynamics and Outreach Core of the research center. That group consists of health behavior researchers, cultural studies researchers, psychometricians, health psychologists, developmental psychologists, demographers, sociologists, and anthropologists. Each statement on the AHIMSA is responded to with the letters a, b, c, or d. The letter a corresponds to a “United States” response; the letter b corresponds to “The country my family is from;” c corresponds to “Both;” and d corresponds to “Neither.” The AHIMSA scale generates four scores based on the four orientations: Assimilation (the total number of “United States” responses), Separation (the total number of “The country my family is from” responses), Integration (the total number of “Both” responses), and Marginalization (the total number of “Neither” responses). For example, the total number of a responses indicates the respondent’s United States Orientation score. The score for each orientation can range from 0 through 8. Researchers might elect to use one or more of the four orientation scores depending on their research questions. Because of the forced-choice format, the sum of the four orientation scores always will equal eight (the total number of statements on the scale). Therefore, it is not possible to include all four orientation scores as independent variables in the same multiple regression model, because the fourth score always will equal eight minus the sum of the other three orientation scores, creating a linear dependence among the independent variables in the model.

Jennifer B. Unger, Peggy Gallaher, Sohaila Shakib, Anamara Ritt-Olson, Paula H. Palmer, C. Anderson Johnson

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