Date of Conferral







Robin Oatis-Ballew


South Asian (SA) adolescents experience the added challenges of identity development and coping as a minority population of color in a predominantly White host culture. Adolescent attachment style (AS) with their parents, along with an acculturation gap (AG) with their parents, can either add to or alleviate their struggles. A matched acculturation style and secure AS with their parents were hypothesized to result in higher ethnic identity and adaptive coping. The Brief COPE, Multiethnic Identity Measure, Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment, and the Bicultural Inquiry Questionnaire were used to measure the independent (AG and AS) and dependent variables (identity development and coping skills) among a sample of 39 SA adolescents and their parent dyads from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. All participants were recruited through SA temples, schools, and websites. Two-way ANOVAs revealed no effects of AG and AS on ethnic identity and coping skills, which corroborates with the results of several other studies. However, the small sample size obtained for this study reduced the reliability of the results. Further research with a larger sample is warranted for more reliable results with greater power. The use of alternative measures should also be considered given the difficulty with measuring the multifaceted constructs of acculturation and ethnic identity. More information on the impact of attachment and acculturation on well-being can contribute to social change by providing data needed to develop preventive and therapeutic interventions, community programs, and government policies to assist immigrant adolescents and families.