Cultural identity conflict and mental health in bicultural young adults

Biculturele jongvolwassenen

Do self-clarity and self-esteem matter?

Former research has shown the importance of a stable (cultural) identity for healthy mental well-being. Specifically, cultural identity conflict arising from acculturation challenges was found to be an important predictor in low psychological wellbeing within immigrant populations (e.g., Diaz & Bui, 2017). Individuals who view their heritage and host culture as complementary may create a compatible cultural identity (Downie et al., 2004; Ward et al., 2011). However, when the attachment to all multiple cultural identities is strong but the associated values, beliefs, and behaviors are experienced as incompatible and oppositional, cultural identity conflict may arise and influence psychological wellbeing. Little is known about factors contributing to poorer mental health in the population of young adult immigrants. The current study aims to address existing research gaps by examining the extent to which internal conflicts over own cultural identity relates to clarity over the self-concept, and to experiencing esteem and well-being (anxiety, depression and satisfaction with life) in the population of bicultural young adults (18-35 years).