Ethno-cultural identity conflict

Published: 2008. Contact: Colleen Ward


Although 'identity conflict' in immigrants and members of ethnic minorities has been discussed in the acculturation literature, there is no established measure to assess this conflict. This research involved the construction and validation of a measure of ethno-cultural identity conflict.


The research included 304 participants (187 first generation immigrants, 51 New Zealand-born members of ethnic minority groups and 66 international students) who completed an anonymous survey.

The survey contained 45 items tapping ethnocultural identity conflict and measures of identity distress, sense of coherence, self concept clarity, and psychological and sociocultural adaptation.

The 45 items were refined to a 20-item measure of identity conflict. Ethno-Cultural Identity Conflict was related to lower self-concept clarity, lower sense of coherence and greater identity distress.


A reliable and valid measure of Ethno-Cultural Identity Conflict was constructed through this research. The pattern of relationships supported the construct validity of the new measure.

Integrated migrants experience less ethno-cultural identity conflict than separated, marginalized and assimilated migrants . This shows that ethno-cultural Identity Conflict increases with cultural distance.

You can access the presentation "Ethno-Cultural Identity Conflict in the Acculturation Process" here.