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CULTURE, PARENTAL ATTACHMENT, AND TRAIT ANXIETY: A
COMPARISON OF LATINO-AND CAUCASIAN AMERICANS
DEBORAH T. TOWNSEND
A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
DEBORAH T. TOWNSEND
I would like to thank several individuals who have supported me throughout the
course of this research. First, I would like to thank Dr. Kenneth Rice for providing me
with a secure base from which to venture into the world of psychological research. I
would also like to thank my committee members, Dr. Bonnie Moradi and Dr. Scott
Miller, for providing me with invaluable knowledge and experience. Many thanks go to
Dr. John Christopher and the Department for Residence Education, and Leonardo Suarez
for their helpful assistance with data collection. Finally, I would like to thank my family,
friends, and especially my husband, Josiah Townsend, for serving as the most important
support system I have had throughout this process.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S .................................................................... ......... .............. iii
ABSTRACT ............... ..................... ......... .............. vii
1 IN TRODU CTION ................................................. ...... .................
2 LITER A TU R E REV IEW ............................................................. ....................... 4
A ttach m ent ................................................. ..................... ..................... 4
C culture and A ttachm ent......................................... .. .......................... ...............
A ttachm ent and A djustm ent ............................................................................. 8
A ccu ltu ration ................................................... ........... ...... 12
3 M E T H O D O L O G Y ......... ................. ........................................... ..........................15
P a rtic ip a n ts ........................................................................................................... 1 5
In stru m e n ts ........................................................................................................... 1 6
P rental A ttachm ent ........................ .. .................................. .. .............. 16
A n x iety ................................................................1 7
Acculturation .................. ...................... 18
Social D esirability ........................ ................ ................... .. ...... 19
D em graphics ............................................ 19
Power Analysis ............... ......... .......................20
4 R E S U L T S .............................................................................2 2
Descriptive Statistics and Reliability of Measures ......... .............. ....................22
Prelim inary A analyses ... ..................................... ............... ............... 22
R egression A naly ses ....... ..... ... .................................................. .......... .. ......24
E exploratory A nalyses............ ............................................................. ........... .. 27
5 D ISC U S SIO N ......... ..................... ............. .. .. .... ................ ... ......... 28
A PARENTAL ATTACHMENT QUESTIONNAIRE (PAQ).............. ...................33
B STEPHENSON MULTIGROUP ACCULTURATION SCALE (SMAS) ................37
C THE MARLOWE-CROWNE SOCIAL DESIRABILITY SCALE...........................39
D DEM OGRAPHIC INFORM ATION .........................................................................41
E PARENTAL ATTACHMENT QUESTIONNAIRE-SPANISH.............................42
F STEPHENSON MULTIGROUP ACCULTURATION SCALE SPANISH...........44
G MARLOWE-CROWNE SOCIAL DESIRABILITY SCALE-SPANISH .................46
H DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION-SPANISH ............... .................................. 48
I INFORM ED CON SENT FORM .......................................... .......................... 49
J FORMULARIO DE APROBACION INFORMADO ........................................51
L IST O F R E FE R E N C E S ......................... ......... ...........................................................53
B IO G R A PH IC A L SK E TCH ..................................................................... ..................60
LIST OF TABLES
3-1 Demographics Based on Race/Ethnicity ..... ......... ........................................ 15
4-1 Descriptive Statistics and Internal Consistency Estimates................... ..............22
4-2 Correlations Between Parental Attachment, Dominant Society Immersion, Trait
Anxiety, and Social Desirability Measures for Caucasian and Latino Persons .......23
4-3 Moderating Effect of Acculturation on the Relation Between Attachment and
T rait A anxiety .........................................................................26
Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science
CULTURE, PARENTAL ATTACHMENT, AND TRAIT ANXIETY: A
COMPARISON OF LATINO- AND CAUCASIAN-AMERICANS
Deborah T. Townsend
Chair: Kenneth G. Rice
Major Department: Psychology
The universality of the attachment construct has been disputed by researchers in
recent years due to cultural differences among ethnic groups. This study assessed the
relationship between attachment and anxiety in Caucasian and Latino college student
samples. Further, acculturation was explored as a possible moderator of this relationship.
After analyzing the data using hierarchical regression procedures, acculturation as a
moderator of the relationship between attachment and anxiety was not supported.
However, acculturation did appear to account for a significant amount of variance in
anxiety over and above attachment solely for the Latino sample. These results may have
implications for the future conceptualization of attachment in minority populations and
may elucidate the role of acculturation as a significant source of anxiety for Latino
The terms Hispanic/Latino are used to define those who classify themselves as
Mexican, Mexican-American, Chicano, Puerto Rican, and Cuban, as well as those who
classify themselves as being from the Spanish-speaking countries of Central and South
America, Spain, and the Dominican Republic (U. S. Bureau of the Census, 2000). This
population is steadily increasing in the United States. By the end of the year 2050, the
Latino population is estimated to become 24.5% of the United States population and will
be the largest minority group in the nation (Eitzen & Zinn, 2002). Because of this and
other changes in the demographic landscape of the U.S., psychologists will need to be
increasingly aware of the roles that culture and ethnicity can play in individual and
Researchers have suggested that culture influences communication patterns,
expression of feelings, behavior, norms, and family roles (Betancourt & Lopez, 1993;
Pedersen, 1991; Solomon, 1992), or, in attachment-theory terms, culture could be argued
as an influence on the working models of self and others (Bowlby, 1982). Because of
several distinctions made between Latino and Caucasian culture, such as the importance
of collectivism and cohesiveness of the family unit (termedfamilism) in Latino culture
(Arbona & Power, 2003; Giordano & McGoldrick, 1996; Harwood et al., 1995;
McEachern & Kenny, 2002; Zayas & Solari, 1994), and because the operationalization of
attachment theory (Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters, & Wall, 1978) was standardized on a
sample of middle-class Caucasian infants, it seems fitting to investigate potential
differences in attachment organization in samples of different racial/ethnic backgrounds.
Because of this gap, many researchers have investigated attachment organization in
samples of different racial/ethnic groups but have found mixed results. For example,
studies by Harwood and her colleagues (Harwood, 1992; Harwood, Handwerker,
Schoelmerich, & Leyendecker, 2001; Harwood & Miller, 1991; Harwood, Miller, &
Irizarry, 1995) found that Puerto Rican and Caucasian mothers identified different
behaviors from their infants as appropriate. Lopez, Melendez, and Rice (2000), in their
study of adult attachment, or the emotional bonds between romantic partners or peers,
found, that mother overprotection scores were higher among Black students than among
their White peers. Further, they learned that both the Hispanic/Latino and Black students
scored higher on attachment-related avoidance than their White peers. Other studies, such
as those by Kermoian and Leiderman (1986) and Marvin, VanDevender, Iwanaga,
LeVine, and LeVine (1977) found similar attachment classifications across infants in
Africa as those in the United States. This uncertainty regarding the application of
attachment classifications to those from different racial/ethnic groups and the failure of
important research linking parental attachment and psychological adjustment to take
race/ethnicity into account (Armsden & Greenberg, 1987; Kalsner & Pistole, 2003;
Kenny & Perez, 1996; Rice, 1990; Vivona 2000) make it difficult to come to any
conclusions regarding the connection of parental attachment to psychological adjustment
issues. One study by Arbona and Power (2003), however, seems promising in that it has
established a connection among parental attachment, self-esteem, and antisocial behavior
after controlling for race/ethnicity.
In addition to the difficulty of generalizing findings across groups, it is also
difficult to generalize findings within racial/ethnic groups. Acculturation, or the transfer
of culture from one group of people to another group of people (Negy & Woods, 1992),
may have implications for the study of Latino persons in this country because of the
heterogeneity of this group. Because of the potential effect of familism on attachment
organization, and in light of findings that some aspects of familism decrease as
acculturation increases (Sabogal, Marin, Otero-Sabogal, Marin, & Perez-Stable, 1987), it
seems reasonable to expect that acculturation may moderate the relationship between
attachment and psychological adjustment.
In summary, there has been no research comparing the relationship between quality
of parental attachment and anxiety in Latino- and Caucasian-American populations.
Moreover, within-group differences such as acculturation have not been taken into
account in research linking parental attachment and anxiety. Because of differences
accounted for by acculturation, it is hypothesized that, the more acculturated an
individual, the more parental attachment will have implications for anxiety. However, as
acculturation decreases, it is hypothesized that attachment will have less of an implication
for level of anxiety.
The term parental attachment denotes the emotional bonds between primary
caretakers and their children (Ainsworth, 1989). Conversely, adult attachment refers to
emotional bonds between romantic partners or peers. Both attachment systems have been
associated with psychological adjustment. Although parental attachment influences later
adult attachment styles, only parental attachment will be explored here.
Several theorists have been instrumental in the development of attachment theory.
Bowlby's (1982) conceptualization of attachment was a counter to the psychoanalytic
and social learning explanations of attachment. More specifically, he conceptualized
attachment through evolutionary biology, ethology, developmental psychology, cognitive
science, and control systems theory. Attachment, he explained, is a universal
phenomenon that is adaptive and central to the survival of our species. Seeking proximity
to a caretaker, usually the mother, is a way of seeking security and safety during times of
stress and threat. In this way, attachment behavior is adaptive by protecting the young
from predators and increasing the likelihood of reproductive success. The security of
attachment, then, depends on the reliability and responsiveness of the parent to the child.
Subsequently, Mary Ainsworth and her colleagues (Ainsworth et al., 1978)
developed a procedure, called the Strange Situation, in which the security of attachment
to the mother could be classified into 3 categories. Secure, or group B, children can
separate from their mother with minimal stress. These children also show an ability to be
comforted and show minimal anger upon reunion with mother. On the other hand,
anxious/resistant, or Group C, children show little exploration, high distress, and an
inability to be comforted upon reunion, and anxious/avoidant, or Group A, children show
little distress during separation and avoidance of the mother upon reunion. Later, Main
and Solomon (1986) discovered a 4th classification, disorganized/disoriented, in a sample
of fifty-five 2-20 month old infants. These patterns of attachment were found to occur in
a sample of Caucasian infants, however, calling into question the validity of applying
these classifications to those from different cultural groups. The following section will
highlight characteristics of Latino and Caucasian culture and will review the findings of
other researchers who have observed differences in attachment behaviors between these
Culture and Attachment
Culture can be defined as "an abstraction referring to the multiple meaningful
contexts in which all individuals construct, and from which all individuals abstract, rule-
governed understandings and behaviors" (Harwood et al., 1995, p. 31). In other words,
culture includes the set of attitudes, values, beliefs, and behaviors shared by a group of
people, communicated from one generation to the next (Matsumoto, 1997), which are
used to interpret acceptable or unacceptable behavior.
Several distinctions between Caucasian and Hispanic culture have been identified.
Caucasian culture has been described as being more individualistic than Hispanic culture
while Hispanic culture has been described as more cohesive and collectivistic than
Caucasian culture (Arbona & Power, 2003; Giordano & McGoldrick, 1996; Harwood et
al., 1995). Differences in family environment are also apparent between Caucasian and
Hispanic cultures. The cohesiveness of the family unit has been found to play an
extremely important role in a Hispanic individual's identity and is suggested to be one of
the most culture-specific values of Hispanic people (McEachern & Kenny, 2002; Zayas
& Solari, 1994). In addition, obligation and loyalty to the family take precedence over
individual needs (McEachern & Kenny, 2002). Hispanic children are taught to listen,
obey, and refrain from challenging their elders or those in authority positions, especially
the father or oldest male member (Atkinson, Morten, & Sue, 1993; Bernal & Shapiro,
1996; Stein, 1983). Conversely, mother-child relationships have been found to be more
verbal than Caucasian mother-child relationships (Escovar & Lazarus, 1982).
The arena of culture and attachment has become a controversial one in recent years.
Some researchers have raised the arguments that, because distinct cultures carry distinct
frames of reference, the meanings associated with attachment behaviors vary (Harwood
et al., 1995; Rothbaum, Weisz, Pott, Miyake, & Morelli, 2000; Rubin, 1998). Harwood
and her colleagues have examined the influence of culturally derived values on Anglo
and Puerto Rican mothers' perceptions of attachment behavior in samples consisting of
middle- and lower-class Anglo and Puerto Rican mothers of infants between the ages of
12 and 24 months (Harwood, 1992; Harwood & Miller, 1991; Harwood, Handwerker,
Schoelmerich, & Leyendecker, 2001; Harwood et al., 1995). Their results were gathered
from mothers who lived both in the United States and in Puerto Rico. In all of the studies
conducted, results were similar. Although Puerto Rican mothers viewed fulfillment as a
result of acceptance by the community, Anglo mothers emphasized the need to strike a
balance between relatedness with the community and self-maximization in the proper
development of a child. Furthermore, the Anglo mothers perceived the child who lacked
independence as clingy and dependent. Puerto Rican mothers, on the other hand, stressed
proper demeanor as the central component to appropriate relatedness. A child said to
possess proper demeanor is also said to possess four qualities that increase the likelihood
of esteem from the community. He is educado (well brought up), tranquilo (calm),
obediente (obedient), and respetuoso (respectful). For instance, Latino children must be
wary not to express their emotions lest they disrupt relationships.
Several Caucasian values, then, contrast with values in Latino culture, such as the
need for independence versus dependence and emotional regulation. These differences
have implications for individuals' "working models" of relationships (Bowlby, 1982),
suggesting that Western conceptualizations of attachment may not be as universal as once
believed (i.e., Ainsworth & Marvin, 1995; Bowlby, 1973; Cassidy & Shaver, 1999; Main,
1990; van IJzendoorn & Sagi, 1999). Attachment theorists define competence in terms of
independence and self-expression, values that have been shown to be discouraged in
other, non-Western cultures. In reference to American culture, Sroufe, Fox, and Pancake
Children who require a high degree of contact, approval, or attention from adults
are showing a deviation from the developmental course toward autonomy usual in
our culture. (p. 1617)
This seems to imply that the Strange Situation is culturally bound and is dependent
upon Western historical, social, political, economic, demographic, and geographic
realities (Rothbaum et al., 2000). Further evidence for the importance of culture to
attachment seems to have emerged in a study by Lopez et al. (2000). In their study of
adult attachment in a sample composed of 329 White, 89 Latino, and 69 Black college
students (mean age was 22.25 years), the researchers found that mother overprotection
scores were higher among the Black students than among their White peers. Further, they
learned that both the Hispanic/Latino and Black students scored higher on attachment-
related avoidance than their White peers.
However, studies that have found support for the universality of attachment cannot
be excluded from this review. Several studies assessing the attachment styles of African
infants have concluded that the Strange Situation is indeed applicable to these groups. In
their investigation of 26 Gusii families in Kenya, Kermoian and Leiderman (1986)
concluded that, despite differences in exploratory behavior and attachment related
behaviors of the infants (such as greeting the adult with a handshake rather than a hug),
the patterns of attachment were comparable to Western findings. Similar results of 18
Hausa infants in Nigeria (Marvin et al., 1977) and 26 Dogon infants in Mali (cf. van
Ijzendoorn & Sagi, 1999), despite differences in exploratory behavior and presence of
multiple caregivers, suggest that the Strange Situation is applicable across cultures.
In sum, results from numerous studies suggest mixed findings regarding the
universality of the Western-based attachment conceptualizations. This prospect has
implications for the prediction of psychological adjustment, because a multitude of
studies have found a link between security of attachment and several measures of
adjustment across ethnic groups (i.e., Arbona & Power, 2003; Lopez, Melendez, & Rice,
Attachment and Adjustment
Bowlby's (1982) concept of an "internal working model" is the framework for the
predictive formulations of attachment theory. He argued that our early experiences of
sensitive or insensitive care build our self-understanding and our interpretive filters
through which future relationships and other social experiences are understood. For
example, those with secure working models may behave in an open manner towards
others, which may elicit the support they are seeking. On the other hand, those with
insecure working models may behave with distrust or uncertainty of others, perhaps to
retain independence, which may deter that support (Rholes, Simpson, & Stevens, 1998).
This is important in light of research that supports a buffering effect of social support
from family and/or friends on college students' well-being (Gunthert, Cohen, & Armeli,
2002; Holahan, Valentiner, & Moos, 1995; Wei & Sha, 2003; Winterowd, Street, &
A link has been made between insecure parental attachment (i.e., anxious/resistant
and anxious/avoidant) and problematic dependence and anxiety. For example, several
researchers, including Sroufe and his colleagues (1983, 1993), have examined the
relationship of dependence and insecure attachment. These researchers consistently found
that children who had both resistant and avoidant attachments (insecure attachments)
were more dependent on teachers (at the expense of peer relations), counselors, and
adults during preschool, at age 10, and at age 15 than their securely attached counterparts.
According to Bowlby (1973), this dependence is a consequence of anxiety regarding the
availability of the caregiver. In fact, he specified the following types of family
environments that were conducive to this anxiety: those in which the child worries about
a parent's survival in the child's absence, those in which the child worries about being
rejected or abandoned, those in which the child feels the need to remain home as a
companion to the parent, and those in which a parent has difficulty letting the child go
because of feelings that harm will come to the child. In other words, insecure attachments
are thought to result from environments in which the availability of the caregiver is
uncertain and threats of abandonment are salient. As a result, this uncertainty becomes
conducive to separation anxiety and anxiety about one's own competence in mastering
one's environment efficiently.
Numerous studies have investigated the link between parental attachment and
several measures of psychological well-being in college students. For instance, in a meta-
analytic review of studies assessing adolescent attachment and adjustment conducted
between 1975 and 1990, Rice (1990) found consistent positive associations between
attachment security and self-esteem, social competence, and emotional adjustment.
Although these results demonstrated the consistent association between attachment and
adjustment and also demonstrated them according to gender, it is unclear what the
racial/ethnic breakdown of the samples were or whether the consistency of the
associations between attachment and adjustment were similar across ethnic groups.
Similarly, Kalsner and Pistole (2003) and Kenny and Perez (1996) investigated the link
between attachment and adjustment to college (measured by the Student Adjustment to
College Questionnaire; Baker & Syrk, 1989) and emotional adjustment (measured by the
Hopkins Symptom Checklist; Derogatis, Lipman, Rickles, Uhlenhuth, & Covi, 1974),
respectively, of students of diverse ethnic backgrounds (including African American,
Latino, and Asian individuals). Although they found significant links between attachment
security and psychological adjustment, it is unclear whether the strength of the
associations for the individual racial/ethnic groups were similar or differed. Moreover,
these investigators did not report reliability or validity data of the utilized scales to those
from different racial/ethnic groups.
More specific studies assessing the relationship of attachment security to anxiety
have provided additional support for the prior conclusions. Armsden and Greenberg
(1987) assessed 32 male and 54 female undergraduate students (mean age was 18.6
years) on measures of parental attachment and depression/anxiety. Approximately 80%
of this sample was Caucasian and 15% was Asian; the remaining 5% were not identified.
The researchers reported a significant amount of variance in depression/anxiety scores
accounted for by parental attachment scores. However, it is unclear how much variance
would have been accounted for solely by depression or anxiety. Vivona (2000) also found
a significant relationship between anxiety and insecure attachment in a college sample
(mean age was 18.12 years) made up of 78% Caucasian, 9% African American, 4%
Latino, 8% Asian, and 1% multiracial or "other" individuals. As in previous studies
reviewed, results from both the Armsden and Greenberg (1987) and Vivona (2000)
studies were not reported according to race/ethnicity, calling again into question the
applicability of these results to those from different ethnic groups.
However, Arbona and Power (2003), investigated the link between parental
attachment, self-esteem, and antisocial behavior in 488 African American, 661 European
American, and 434 Mexican American high school students between the ages of 13 and
19 years. First, they found that Mexican Americans scored lower on mother avoidance
than the other two groups. Moreover, they found that African Americans scored higher
on self-esteem than either of the other two groups. When controlling for demographic
variables such as race/ethnicity, the researchers found that insecure parental attachment
was associated with higher levels of self-reported involvement in antisocial behaviors and
lower levels of self-esteem.
In summary, the association of attachment to psychological adjustment, including
support for Bowlby's predictive formulations of attachment to anxiety, has been well
established in the research literature to date. However, most of these studies have failed
to take into account the applicability of certain measures to those from diverse
racial/ethnic groups. Further, except for one study, they have been unsuccessful in
applying these findings to different racial/ethnic groups by failing to demonstrate
individual correlations between attachment and adjustment for separate racial/ethnic
groups. This falls short of taking between-group differences into account, as well as
important within-group differences such as acculturation, which will be discussed in the
Recall that the terms Hispanic/Latino refer to a heterogenous group of individuals.
More specifically, Latino persons differ with respect to nationality, race, generational
status, and acculturation. Acculturation, or the transfer of culture from one group of
people to another group of people (Negy & Woods, 1992), may have implications for the
study of Latino persons in this country because of the heterogeneity of this group. For
instance, although some Latino persons may have moved to the U.S. from their country
of origin, many persons categorized as Latino may in fact belong to second or third
generations whose parents or grandparents were born in a Latin American country. Some
investigators have found the effects of acculturation in their research. For example, in a
study examining Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) scores with a
group of 450 Mexican American and Anglo American individuals (352 Mexican
American, 98 Anglo American), Montgomery, Arnold, and Orozco (1990) found that
differences between the ethnic groups on the Harris-Lingoes subscales were reduced
when acculturation was covaried. In addition, Harwood et al. (1995) speculated that
differences in the judgments of the appropriateness of attachment behaviors between the
middle- and working-class Hispanic mothers in their sample may have been due to the
possible "Americanization" of the educated mothers.
A study by Sabogal, Marin, and Otero-Sabogal (1987) highlights the effect of
acculturation on familism. They assessed attitudes toward the family of 452 Mexican-,
Central-, and Cuban-American individuals. They divided familism into the following
three dimensions: familial obligations, perceived support from the family, and family as
referents. Results suggest that, although acculturation did not have an effect on
participants' perceptions of family support, familial obligations and perception of the
family as referents appeared to diminish with level of acculturation. Considering the
prominent role of the community and the family in Latino culture, and in light of these
findings that increases in acculturation levels are associated with decreases in family
values among Latino individuals, it is reasonable to expect that acculturation may
moderate the relationship between attachment and adjustment (see Figure 1-1). In other
words, the more acculturated an individual to the dominant society, the stronger the
influence of quality of attachment on adjustment. Conversely, the less acculturated an
individual to the dominant society, the weaker the influence of quality of attachment on
Figure 1-1. Acculturation as a moderator of the relationship between attachment and
The current study will assess the appropriateness of using conventional measures of
parental attachment with those from both represented and underrepresented cultural
groups. Because the relationship between attachment and adjustment has been widely
supported, the extent to which parental attachment contributes to anxiety scores will be
compared across Caucasian and Latino individuals. Because the transition to college has
been conceptualized as a Strange Situation (Ainsworth et al., 1978) capable of eliciting
attachment behaviors as students transition into an unfamiliar environment, college
students will be sampled for this study. I expect that the relationship between attachment
and adjustment will differ between groups, with the Caucasian students having a strong
relationship between attachment and anxiety and the Latino students having a weaker
relationship between the two. However, these effects are expected to be moderated by
acculturation. In other words, the higher the level of acculturation, the more relevant
attachment will be in predicting level of anxiety.
One hundred and eighty undergraduate students were recruited from the
Psychology research pool (8) and from campus housing (172) at a large, southeastern
university. Of these 180 students, 76 were Latino and 104 were Caucasian. Table 3-1
displays participants' ages (in years), generational status, and gender according to
race/ethnicity. The age, sex, and racial/ethnic makeup of this sample are comparable to
those used in other studies assessing attachment with the Parental Attachment
Questionnaire (PAQ; Kenny, 1987). However, the racial/ethnic groups sampled in this
study differed in the proportion of women to men and in their generational status. More
specifically, the Latino group differed from the Caucasian group in that the former had a
higher proportion of females than the latter. Moreover, the Latino individuals identified
mostly as second generation, whereas the Caucasian group identified mostly as fourth
generation or later.
Table 3-1. Demographics Based on Race/Ethnicity
AGE (IN YEARS) Min 18 18
Max 22 23
Mean 19.02 19.21
SD .77 1.08
Median 19.00 19.00
Gender Male 32 12
Female 72 64
Generational Status First Generation 3 13
Second Generation 7 47
Third Generation 18 8
Fourth Generation 76 8
Parental attachment was assessed using the Parental Attachment Questionnaire
(PAQ; Kenny, 1987). The PAQ is a 55-item self-report questionnaire adapted for use
with adolescents and young adults. Items are rated on a 5-point scale, from 1=not at all to
5=very much. The PAQ contains the following three scales: Affective Quality of
Relationships (AQR), Parental Fostering of Autonomy, and Parental Role in Providing
Emotional Support. These scales are theoretically consistent with Ainsworth et al.'s
(1978) conceptualization of attachment as an enduring affective bond, which acts as a
secure base in providing emotional support and in fostering independence (Kenny, 1994).
Kenny (1990) reported high alpha coefficients for the individual scales (.96 for the
relationship quality scale, .88 for the emotional support scale, and .88 for the fostering
autonomy scale) and high 2-week test-retest reliability, with coefficients ranging from .82
to .91. Finally, Kenny and Donaldson (1991) reported predictable relationships between
the PAQ scales and the Moos Family Environment Scale subscales (Moos, 1985),
demonstrating good concurrent validity of the PAQ.
Only the AQR subscale was included in analyses for several reasons. First, because
the quality of the affective bond serves as the basis for a parental role in providing
emotional support and fostering of autonomy, it seemed fitting to use the affective quality
of relationship score as the focus of this study. Furthermore, the AQR subscale was
utilized because it has been shown that secure attachment is characterized by higher
scores on all PAQ scales than insecure attachment (Kenny, 1990) and because all PAQ
scales have been found to be highly correlated (Kenny & Donaldson, 1991). Finally, the
high alpha coefficient of the AQR surpassed that of the remaining subscales.
Anxiety was assessed using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (Form Y) (STAI;
Spielberger, 1983). It is a 40-item self-report questionnaire assessing state and trait
anxiety. State anxiety (20 items) refers to how respondents feel at this moment, and trait
anxiety (20 items) refers to how respondents generally feel. Respondents rating the state
anxiety items describe the intensity of their feelings on a 1=not at all to 4=very much so.
Respondents rating the trait anxiety items describe the frequency of their feelings on a
1=almost never to 4=almost always scale. Test-retest reliability over three time points (1
hour, 20 days, and 104 days) for the T-anxiety scale with a sample of college students
was moderate to high, with coefficients ranging from .73 to .86. Test-retest reliability for
the S-anxiety scale, on the other hand, were low, reflecting the transitory nature of state
anxiety; coefficients ranged from .16-.54. Internal consistency of the S- and T-anxiety
scales with college students was high, with alpha coefficients ranging from .90-.93.
Validity of the STAI has also been demonstrated (Spielberger, 1983). Construct
validity is evident when comparing the higher scores of military recruits in comparison to
college students. Also, the STAI discriminated between normals and neuropsychiatric
patients as well as between general medical and surgical patients with psychiatric
complications and general medical and surgical patients without complications. Further,
concurrent validity has been demonstrated by the moderate to high correlations between
the STAI and other anxiety scales, such as the IPAT Anxiety Scale (Cattell & Scheier,
1963), the Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale (Taylor, 1953), and the Affect Adjective
Checklist (Zuckerman, 1960).
The validity of the Spanish version of the STAI has been established. A translated
version is available from the publisher. Internal consistency reliability (>.81) has been
shown to be comparable to that found in Caucasian samples (Spielberger, & Diaz-
Guerrero, 1975). Additional evidence for the comparability of the Spanish version of the
STAI has been established by Novy, Nelson, Goodwin, and Rowzee (1993). Although
their sample consisted of 300 pain patients whose mean age was significantly higher than
the current sample's mean age, the investigators established coefficient alphas of .94 for
the Latino men and women.
Because of the established link between attachment and anxiety, and because
attachment has been described as an "enduring affective bond" (Kenny, 1994, p. 400) it
seemed fitting to assess only trait anxiety, or one's general feelings of anxiety. Further
rationale for using the trait anxiety subscale can be derived from longitudinal research by
Warren, Huston, Egeland, and Sroufe (1997), who found that infants categorized as
insecurely attached at infancy had a higher rate of anxiety disorders at 17.5 years of age
than the infants initially categorized as securely attached.
Acculturation was measured using the Stephenson Multi-Group Acculturation
Scale (SMAS; Stephenson, 2000). It is a 32-item self-report questionnaire including two
subscales, dominant society immersion (DSI) and ethnic society immersion (ESI). These
items are rated from 1=False to 4=True. Coefficient alphas have been reported as .86 for
the entire scale, and .97 and .90 for ESI and DSI, respectively. Concurrent validity was
also assessed, with the ESI subscale of the SMAS correlating strongly with the Mexican
Orientation Scale (MOS) of the ARSMA-II (Cuellar, Arnold, & Maldonado, 1995) and
the Hispanic Domain scale of the Bidimensional Acculturation Scale for Hispanics (BAS;
Marin & Gamba, 1996), and correlating negatively with the Anglo Orientation Scale
(AOS) of the ARSMA-II and the Non-Hispanic Domain scale of the BAS. The DSI
subscale was positively correlated with the AOS and the Non-Hispanic scale, and
negatively correlated with the MOS and the Hispanic scale. These figures were obtained
from 436 participants recruited from the community (mean age was 29.98 years). The
participants' racial/ethnic identifications was as follows: 8% African American, 8%
Asian American, 29% European American, 19% Hispanic American, and 36% of African
descent. No information on the reliability and validity of the SMAS was available for
individual racial/ethnic groups.
Because of the risk of bias in participants' reports of their relationship with their
parents and current psychological functioning, social desirability was assessed. The
Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale (SDS; Marlowe & Crowne, 1960) is a 33-
item self-report questionnaire. Items are rated as either true (T) or false (F). The authors
found an internal consistency estimate of .88 and a test-retest reliability estimate of .89
with a college student sample.
Finally, a demographic questionnaire was provided which included questions about
age, sex, race/ethnicity, and generational status. A participant would categorize himself
or herself as belonging to the first generation if (s)he was the first to move to the United
States, second generation if his/her parents were the first to move to the United States,
third generation if his/her grandparents were the first to move to the United States, and
fourth generation or later if his/her great-grandparents were the first to move to the
Those students who signed up to participate through the Psychology research pool
completed a packet of questionnaires in a group in an available classroom. Several forms
of the surveys were compiled in order to control for sequence effects. Two copies of an
informed consent form were provided to the participants, which described the study and
informed them that they may withdraw their consent at any time during the study. All
questionnaires and consent forms were administered in both English and Spanish,
providing the students an opportunity to complete the surveys in the language with which
they feel most comfortable speaking. The questionnaires that were not previously
translated were translated into Spanish, back-translated by another native Spanish-
speaker, and compared to ensure that the English and Spanish versions did not differ
markedly. Students received extra credit for their participation from their individual
instructors; otherwise, no compensation was provided for their participation.
Sixteen hundred students (800 Caucasian, 800 Latino) from university housing
were sent a letter via electronic mail inviting them to participate in the study. They were
referred to secure English or Spanish language websites through which they could
complete the questionnaires. The informed consent form was provided at the beginning
of the questionnaires, and it was understood that their consent was given by continuing
on with the questionnaires. No compensation was provided to these participants.
Because of the modest sample sizes gathered in this study, a power analysis was
conducted in order to assess observed power and effect sizes of our statistical analyses.
Since analyses were conducted separately by race and sex of parent, four power analyses
were conducted. Guidelines provided by Cohen (1988) were followed. With a
significance level set at the conventional figure of a = .05, power to detect a significant
effect of an interaction between race/ethnicity and acculturation ranged from .00 to .30
for the four regression analyses conducted. This important finding suggests interpreting
the following results with extreme caution, because the absence or presence of significant
effects may be due to the limited sample sizes and variance in this study.
Descriptive Statistics and Reliability of Measures
Descriptive statistics and internal consistency reliability estimates (coefficient
alphas) according to race/ethnicity are provided in Table 4-1. PAQ, STAI, and SDS
means and standard deviations are within expected range. Internal consistency estimates
for the PAQ and the STAI are high and within expected range as well. However, internal
consistency estimates for the SDS are slightly lower than those reported by other
researchers (Marlowe & Crowne, 1960), but are still modest. Internal consistency and
standard deviation scores for the SMAS, however, were not as promising. Although
internal consistency was modest for the Latino sample, the estimate for the Caucasian
sample was very low, possibly as a result of low variability in scores for that group.
Table 4-1. Descriptive Statistics and Internal Consistency Estimates
Variable M SD a
Hispanic/Latino PAQ-M 111.20 16.26 .94
PAQ-F 100.86 22.45 .95
STAI 40.77 11.84 .92
SMAS 56.24 3.55 .67
SDS 15.74 4.44 .67
Caucasian PAQ-M 108.17 16.59 .94
PAQ-F 104.28 20.61 .95
STAI 38.92 12.13 .95
SMAS 58.43 1.89 .39
SDS 17.09 4.87 .72
Several independent samples t-tests were conducted in order to explore differences
between the Latino and Caucasian participants on the all measures of interest (AQR-
Mother, AQR-Father, STAI-Trait, and SMAS-DSI). Although there were no significant
differences in scores on the mother attachment, t(178) = -1.22, p > .05, father attachment,
t(170) = 1.04, p > .05, or anxiety, t(177) = -1.02, p > .05, measures, there was a
significant difference in scores on the dominant society immersion scale of the SMAS,
t(178) = 2.25, p < .05, reported by the Latino (M= 56.14, SD = 5.63) and Caucasian (M=
57.87, SD = 4.62) participants. However, this small difference most likely will not have
implications for subsequent analyses.
Next, Pearson product-moment correlations were conducted to explore the
relationships between the attachment, acculturation, anxiety, and social desirability
measures. Table 4-2 displays these correlations, conducted separately by racial/ethnic
group (Caucasian scores in upper right of the table, Latino scores in lower left). For
Caucasian participants, scores on attachment to mother and father were significantly
positively associated, (r = .479, p < .01). In other words, as quality of attachment to
mother increased, so did the quality of attachment to father. Moreover, scores on
attachment to both mother (r = -.293, p < .01) and father (r = -.299, p < .01) evidenced a
significant negative association with trait anxiety. In other words, for Caucasians, higher
scores on attachment to both mother and father were associated with lower levels of trait
Table 4-2. Correlations Between Parental Attachment, Dominant Society Immersion,
Trait Anxiety, and Social Desirability Measures for Caucasian and Latino
AQR-M AQR-F DSI STAI-T SDS
AQR-M .479* -.018 -.293* .008
AQR-F .127 -.101 -.299* .135
DSI .057 .254* -.064 -.041
STAI-T -.299* -.261* -.197 -.106
SDS .042 -.014 -.149 -.136
*Significant atp = .05.
Despite the positive association of attachment scores to mother and father in the
Caucasian sample, the Latino sample evidenced no significant association of these
measures. However, the Latino group evidenced a significant positive association
between dominant society immersion and attachment to father (r = .254, p < .05). That is,
as acculturation to the dominant culture increased, attachment to father increased as well.
The Latino participants also evidenced significant positive associations between
attachment to both mother (r = -.299, p < .01) and father (r = -.261, p < .05). Again, as
with the Caucasian participants, increases in attachment to mother and father were
associated with decreases in trait anxiety.
The hypothesis under investigation was that acculturation would moderate the
relationship between parental attachment and trait anxiety for both the Latino and
Caucasian participants. This hypothesis was tested using multiple regression guidelines
provided by Aiken and West (1991) and Cohen et al. (2003). Because attachment was
rated according to both mother and father separately and analyses were conducted
separately for both the Caucasian and Latino groups, four regression analyses were
conducted. Following guidelines provided by Aiken and West (1991), the social
desirability, attachment, and acculturation variables were centered in order to reduce
multicollinearity between the interaction term and the main effects when testing for
moderator effects. In each of the four analyses, the variance accounted for by social
desirability was controlled for by entering SDS at Step 1, followed by the main effects
(i.e., PAQ subscale, and SMAS subscale) at Step 2 and the interaction term (i.e., PAQ
subscale X SMAS subscale) at Step 3 of a hierarchical multiple regression. A significant
change in R2 for the interaction term indicates a significant moderator effect.
Beginning with the Latino-Mother analysis, social desirability accounted for a
significant amount of variance in anxiety scores (R2 change = .129, p < .01). After
controlling for social desirability, attachment to mother and dominant society immersion
contributed a significant amount of variance in anxiety scores (R2 change = .104, p < .05).
Inspection of the beta coefficients indicated that both attachment and acculturation were
significant predictors of anxiety. However, the Latino-Father analysis evidenced a
significant amount of variance in anxiety scores accounted for by social desirability in
step 1 (R2 change = .127, p < .01) but not by attachment and dominant society immersion
scores in step 2 (R2 change = .074, p = .05). Results for the Caucasian participants
evidenced a significant contribution of social desirability to anxiety scores when testing
attachment to mother (R2 change = .093, p < .01) in step 1. Step 2 accounted for a
significant amount of variance over and above social desirability (R2 change = .054, p <
.05). Inspection of the beta coefficients revealed that attachment was the only significant
predictor. Finally, for the Caucasian-Father analysis, social desirability accounted for a
significant amount of variance in step 1 (R2 change = .102, p < .01), while step 2
accounted for a significant amount of variance (R2 change = .061, p < .05). Similar to the
Caucasian-Mother analysis, inspection of the beta coefficients revealed that only
attachment was a significant predictor of anxiety scores.
As illustrated in Table 4-3, no significant moderator effects were present in any of
the four analyses conducted. Change in R2 in these cases ranged from .00 to .02, and all
were non-significant atp > .05. However, it is notable that, only for the Latino
participants, SMAS scores accounted for a significant amount of variance over and above
that accounted for by PAQ-mother scores.
Table 4-3. Moderating Effect of Acculturation on the Relation Between Attachment and
Step B B T Total Adj. R2 inc. df
and R2 R2
Latino- Step 1
Mother SDS .961 .360 3.295* .129 .118 .129* 1,73
PAQ -.172 -.238 -2.263* .234 .201 .104* 2,71
SMAS -.694 -.208 -2.001*
PAQ .025 .124 1.166 .248 .205 .015 1,70
Latino- Step 1
Father SDS .950 .356 3.185* .127 .114 .127* 1,70
PAQ -.085 -.156 -1.387 .200 .165 .074 2,68
SMAS -.676 -.201 -1.831
PAQ .000 .002 .015 .200 .152 .000 1,67
Caucasian- Step 1
Mother SDS .757 .305 3.199* .093 .084 .093* 1, 100
PAQ -.173 -.070 -2.479* .147 .121 .054* 2,98
SMAS -.024 -.605 -.039
PAQ -.005 -.015 -.148 .147 .112 .000 1,97
Caucasian- Step 1
Father SDS .811 .320 3.306** .102 .093 .102** 1,96
PAQ -.149 -.249 -2.616* .163 .137 .061* 2,94
SMAS -.057 -.009 -.093
PAQ -.014 -.035 -.364 .164 .129 .001 1,93
*p< .05., **p<.001.
Several exploratory analyses were conducted to better understand the relationship
of the demographic variables (such as generational status) to the measures of interest.
First, a Pearson chi-square analysis revealed that, while the majority of Caucasian
students (N = 76) identified as belonging to a fourth or later generation, the majority of
Latino students (N = 47) identified as belonging to a second generation, X2(3) = 92.66, p
< .01. Although subsequent univariate analyses of variance (ANOVA's) revealed no
differences between race/ethnic or generation groups on the attachment, acculturation, or
social desirability measures, a one-way ANOVA indicated a significant main effect of
generation on anxiety scores, interestingly, for the Caucasian participants (F (3, 100) =
4.21, p < .01). Post hoc Tukey tests revealed that anxiety differed between the first (M=
25.75, SD = 1.09) and third (M= 46.44, SD = 11.87) generations, as well as between the
third (M= 46.44, SD = 11.87) and fourth + (M= 37.53, SD = 11.79) generations. Because
of the larger amount of women in the sample, these analyses were replicated with a
sample consisting of only women (72 Caucasian and 63 Latina women). These analyses
revealed no significant main effect of generation on anxiety for the Caucasian (F(3) =
1.948, p > .05) or Latino (F(3) = 2.119, p > .05) However, these results must be
interpreted with extreme caution due to the small number of Caucasian participants in the
first, second, and third generation groups and Latino participants in the first, third and
This study has attempted to highlight potential discrepancies in the current
conceptualization of attachment and its relationship to psychological adjustment between
Caucasian and Latino persons. Because Bowlby (1982) argued that one's internal
working model is the result of our early experiences (which is the framework for
attachment theory), and because Rubin (1998) posited that knowledge of cultural beliefs
and norms are necessary when interpreting the acceptability of individual characteristics
and relationships that are permissible, it seemed fitting to investigate the relationship of
attachment to psychological adjustment between two racial/ethnic groups. Because of the
absence of research examining this relationship for Latino individuals, and because of the
varied experiences that the Latino group has in the United States (i.e., acculturative
experiences), it was important to assess the universality hypothesis of attachment theory
in a group of Latino individuals.
There were no differences on attachment scores between Caucasian and Latino
individuals, which refutes this study's hypothesis. This seems to support the universality
hypothesis of attachment theory, or the "etic approach," which asserts that, because of the
evolutionary basis of attachment theory, attachment bonds develop despite child-rearing
arrangements and family groups. Instead of meaning that one attachment pattern is
normative, it implies that human beings are equipped to handle any type of environment.
The "emic approach," on the other hand, refers to the culture-specific developmental
trajectories that are understood from that culture's frame of reference (van Ijzendoorn &
Sagi, 1999). The similarity in attachment scores is also consistent with Harwood's (1992)
suggestion that, although Caucasian and Latina mothers differed in what they believed
would be desirable traits in a child, they both described a variety of potentially valuable
qualities that would be adaptive for children in most cultures.
In line with the universality hypothesis, the non-significant relationship between
attachment to mother and attachment to father for the Latino individuals may be a
reflection of a more differentiated view of their parents. In this study, Latinos reported a
closer relationship to their mother than to their father. These results are consistent with
findings that Latino mother-child relationships are more verbal than Caucasian mother-
child relationships (Escovar & Lazarus, 1982). This may also be consistent with a
cultural tradition that stresses the importance of listening, obeying, and refraining from
challenging those in authority positions, especially the father or oldest male member
(Atkinson et al., 1993; Bernal & Shapiro, 1996; Stein, 1983). One implication of these
results is the importance of considering mother and father attachment scores separately
for Latino individuals. This would counter research by Bell, Avery, Jenkins, Feld, &
Schoenrock (1985), which suggests that the overall family environment is more important
in determining late adolescents' feelings of social competence than the specific
relationships with each parent.
Another interesting finding, which cannot be easily explained, was the finding that
Caucasian students differed in their anxiety scores depending on their generational status
in the United States. These findings may reflect a genuine difference in anxiety scores
between those of different generational statuses because of stresses encountered when
acculturating to the dominant culture. However, this finding must be qualified by the
small number of participants per group (i.e., only 3 participants belonged to the first
The results also indicate a significant relationship of acculturation and anxiety for
the Latino participants. Specifically, the less acculturated to the dominant culture, the
more anxious the individual. This finding is consistent with those of other researchers
who assert that acculturative stress, or distress provoked by attempts by ethnic minorities
to reconcile differences between their own and the mainstream culture (Sanchez &
Fernandez, 1993), is associated with decreased self-efficacy expectations (Kanter, 1977)
and depression and suicidal ideation (Hovey & King, 1996). The latter found high
interrelationships between measures of acculturative stress, suicidal ideation, and
depression in Mexican, Central American, South American, and Spanish adolescents
whose mean age was 16.76 years. Moreover, in the present study, the absence of this
finding in the Caucasian sample is consistent with assertions made by Smart and Smart
(1995) that Latino individuals face unique obstacles when they are faced with American
culture, including the loss of social support and kinship networks that are so strongly
emphasized in Latino culture. Miranda and Matheny's (2000) finding that a combination
of high family cohesion and low acculturation in Latino individuals was associated with
more acculturative stress attests to the necessity of investigating the interaction between
acculturation and attachment further.
Although acculturation was examined as a possible moderator of the relationship
between parental attachment and anxiety, no moderating influence of acculturation was
found. This result could be due to several factors. First, the number of participants that
were needed to detect an interaction between attachment and acculturation far exceeded
the number of participants that actually completed the questionnaires. Future studies
would do well to investigate the possibility of a moderating effect of acculturation with a
larger sample. Another possible reason for the absence of a moderating effect of
acculturation was that scores were restricted to relatively high levels of acculturation.
This may be the result of sampling from a university population, which would
understandably yield higher acculturation scores than a community sample. Of course,
yet another possible explanation may be that, in reality, there is no moderating effect of
acculturation at all.
It must also be kept in mind, however, that the reliability of the Dominant Society
Immersion scale of the SMAS was low for the Caucasian group and moderate for the
Latino group. Although Stephenson (2000) reported a good overall reliability coefficient
for the different racial/ethnic groups in her scale development study, she did not report
reliability coefficients for each ethnic group separately. The results in this study argue for
a word of caution to future researchers utilizing the SMAS with Caucasian and Latino
Although attempts have been made to reduce limitations in this study, several do
exist. First, although Weiss (1974) suggested that our perceptions of emotionally
significant relationships are important in the formation of attachment bonds, the results of
this study were based solely on self-report measures. This may have resulted in students
wishing to present themselves, their parents, and their peers in a positive light. Second,
although data were collected from participants from different ethnic groups, the fact that
data were collected from a college student sample limits the extension of these findings to
those from different age groups. In order to address concerns of external validity, further
research on attachment and adjustment is recommended to examine this relationship in a
community sample. Finally, because Latinos are a heterogeneous group, and in light of
findings by Sanchez and Fernandez (1993) that Cuban-Americans and Puerto Ricans
showed stronger American identification than other Latin Americans, it would be fruitful
to include an investigation of participants' country of origin before extending these
findings to those from all Latin American countries. These limitations, however, must be
qualified by the fact that the current sample resembled those of others who have assessed
the relationship of the PAQ to psychological adjustment (i.e., Armsden & Greenberg,
1987; Kalsner & Pistole, 2003; Kenny & Donaldson, 1991; Kenny & Perez, 1996;
This study has examined the relationship of attachment style and acculturation to
trait anxiety in a sample of Latino and Caucasian college students. Further, it was posited
that acculturation would moderate the relationship of attachment to anxiety. Although
this hypothesis was not supported, the findings that the Latino individuals in this study
exhibited a significant amount of anxiety as acculturation decreased points to the
necessity of further examination of a unique interaction of attachment and acculturation
in relation to anxiety.
PARENTAL ATTACHMENT QUESTIONNAIRE (PAQ)
This questionnaire asks you about your mother and father. If you have more than 1
mother and 1 father, think about the person who acts most like a mother to you and most
like a father to you. Using the following scale, write your responses to each item under
the column marked M for mother or F for father.
Not at All
In general, my mother/father...
1. is someone I can count on to listen
to me when I feel upset.
2. supports my goals and interests.
3. sees the world differently than I do.
4. understands my problems and concerns.
5. respects my privacy.
6. limits my independence.
7. gives me advice when I ask for it.
8. takes me seriously.
9. likes me to make my own decisions.
10. criticizes me.
11. tells me what to think or how to feel.
12. gives me attention when I want it.
13. is someone I can talk to about anything.
14. has no idea what I am feeling._
15. lets me try new things out and learn on my own.
16. is too busy to help me.
17. has trust and confidence in me.
18. tries to control my life.
19. protects me from danger and difficulty.
20. ignores what I have to say.
21. is sensitive to my feelings and needs.
22. is disappointed in me.
23. gives me advice whether or not I want it.
24. respects my decisions, even if they don't agree.
25. does things for me, which I would rather do for myself.
26. is someone whose expectations I feel I have to meet.
27. treats me like a younger child.
During time spent together, my mother/father was someone...
28. I looked forward to seeing.
29. with whom I argued.
30. with whom I felt comfortable.
31. who made me angry.
32. I wanted to be with all the time.
33. towards who I felt cool and distant.
34. who got on my nerves.
35. who made me feel guilty and anxious.
36. I liked telling about what I have done recently.
37. for whom I felt feelings of love.
38. I tried to ignore.
39. to whom I told my most personal thoughts and feelings.
40. I liked being with.
41. I didn't want to tell what's been going on in my life.
Following time spent together, I leave my mother/father...
42. with warm and positive feelings.
43. feeling let down and disappointed.
When I have a serious problem or an important decision to make...
(answer this section based on your family in general) Use the scale of 1 to 5 in rating
44. I look to my family for help.
45. I go to a therapist, school counselor, or clergy (priest, rabbi, or minister).
46. I think about what my mom or dad might say.
47. I work it out on my own, without help from anyone.
48. I talk it over with a friend.
49. I know that my family will know what I should do.
50. I ask my family for help if my friends can't help.
When I go to my mother/father for help...
51. I feel more sure of my ability to handle the problems on my own.
52. I continue to feel more sure of myself.
53. I feel that I would have obtained more understanding and comfort from a
54. I feel sure that things will work out as long as I follow my parents' advice.
55. I am disappointed with their response.
STEPHENSON MULTIGROUP ACCULTURATION SCALE (SMAS)
Below are a number of statements that evaluate changes that occur when people interact
with others of different cultures or ethnic groups. For questions that refer to "COUNTRY
OF ORIGIN" or "NATIVE COUNTRY," please refer to the country from which your
family originally came. For questions referring to "NATIVE LANGUAGE," please refer
to the language spoken where your family originally came.
Circle the answer that best matches your response to each statement.
1. I understand English, but I'm not fluent in English. 1
2. I am informed about current affairs in the United States. 1
3. I speak my native language with my friends and acquaintances
from my country of origin. 1
4. I have never learned to speak the language of my native
5. I feel totally comfortable with (Anglo) American people. 1
6. I eat traditional foods from my native culture. 1
7. I have many (Anglo) American acquaintances. 1
8. I feel comfortable speaking my native language. 1
9. I am informed about current affairs in my native country. 1
10. I know how to read and write in my native language. 1
11. I feel at home in the United States. 1
12. I attend social functions with people from my native country.
13. I feel accepted by (Anglo) Americans.
14. I speak my native language at home.
15. I regularly read magazines of my ethnic group.
16. I know how to speak my native language.
17. I know how to prepare (Anglo) American foods.
18. I am familiar with the history of my native country.
19. I regularly read an American newspaper.
20. I like to listen to music of my ethnic group.
21. I like to speak my native language.
22. I feel comfortable speaking English.
23. I speak English at home.
24. I speak my native language with my spouse or partner.
25. When I pray, I use my native language.
2 3 4
26. I attend social functions with (Anglo) American people. 1 2 3 4
27. I think in my native language. 1 2 3 4
28. I stay in close contact with family members and relatives in my
native country. 1 2 3 4
29. I am familiar with important people in American history.
30. I think in English.
31. I speak English with my spouse or partner.
32. I like to eat American foods.
THE MARLOWE-CROWNE SOCIAL DESIRABILITY SCALE
Listed below are a number of statements concerning personal attitudes and traits. Read
each item and decide whether the statement is true or false as it pertains to you
1. Before voting I thoroughly investigate the qualifications of all the candidates. T F
2. I never hesitate to go out of my way to help someone in trouble. T F
3. It is sometimes hard for me to go on with my work if I am not encouraged. T F
4. I have never intensely disliked anyone. T F
5. On occasion I have had doubts about my ability to succeed in life. T F
6. I sometimes feel resentful when I don't get my way. T F
7. I am always careful about my manner of dress. T F
8. My table manners at home are as good as when I eat out in a restaurant. T F
9. If I could get into a movie without paying and be sure I was not seen I would probably
do it. T F
10. On a few occasions, I have given up doing something because I thought too little of
my ability. T F
11. I like to gossip at times. T F
12. There have been times when I felt like rebelling against people in authority even
though I knew they were right. T F
13. No matter who I'm talking to, I'm always a good listener. T F
14. I can remember "playing sick" to get out of something. T F
15. There have been occasions when I took advantage of someone. T F
16. I'm always willing to admit it when I make a mistake. T F
17. I always try to practice what I preach. T F
18. I don't find it particularly difficult to get along with loud mouthed, obnoxious people.
19. I sometimes try to get even rather than forgive and forget. T F
20. When I don't know something I don't at all mind admitting it. T F
21. I am always courteous, even to people who are disagreeable. T F
22. At times I have really insisted on having things my own way. T F
23. There have been occasions when I felt like smashing things. T F
24. I would never think of letting someone else be punished for my wrongdoings. T F
25. I never resent being asked to return a favor. T F
26. I have never been irked when people expressed ideas very different from my own.
27. I never make a long trip without checking the safety of my car. T F
28. There have been times when I was quite jealous of the good fortune of others. T F
29. I have almost never felt the urge to tell someone off. T F
30. I am sometimes irritated by people who ask favors of me. T F
31. I have never felt that I was punished without cause. T F
32. I sometimes think when people have a misfortune they only got what they deserved.
33. I have never deliberately said something that hurt someone's feelings. T F
1. Please circle the number next to your gender: (1) MALE
2. How old are you? years
3. Please circle the number next to your Race/Ethnicity or please describe the specific
group that you identify with the most in the blank next to your ethnicity (for example,
Chinese American, German, Navajo, Alaskan Aleut):
(1) Asian or Asian-American
(2) Black, African-American
(3) Hispanic, Latino
(4) Pacific Islander
(5) Native American or American Indian
(6) White, European American
(7) Multicultural Mixed Race
(8) Other, please specify
4. Please indicate your generational status. For example, if your parents moved to this
country and you were born in the U.S., your generational status would be second
(1) First generation I was born outside of the U.S.
(2) Second My parents were born outside of the U.S.
(3) Third My grandparents were born outside of the U.S.
(4) Fourth +
PARENTAL ATTACHMENT QUESTIONNAIRE-SPANISH
ESTE CUESTIONARIO LE PREGUNTA SOBRE SU MADRE Y SU PADRE.
PIENSE EN LA PERSONA QUE MAS ACTUA COMO SU MADRE O PADRE AL
RESPONDER A LA PREGUNTA SI TIENE MAS DE UNA MADRE O UN PADRE.
USANDO LA ESCALA DADA, MARQUE SU RESPUESTA (M PARA MADRE Y F
1 2 3 4 5
No del todo Un Poco Una Cantidad Moderada Cantidad Sustantiva Bastante
0-10 11-35 36-65 66-90 91-100
En general mi madre y mi padre...
1. Es alguien quien me escuchara si estoy molesto/a
2. apoya mis metas y intereses.
3. entiende el mundo diferente que yo.
4. entiende mis problems y mi preocupaciones.
5. respect mi privacidad.
6. limita mi independencia.
7. me da consejo cuando lo pido
8. me toma en serio.
9. le gusta que haga mis propia decisions.
10. me critical.
11. me dice como pensar y como sentirme.
12. me pone atencion cuando lo quiero.
13. es alguien con quien puedo conversar.
14. no tiene ni idea de lo que estoy sentiendo o pensando.
15. deja que trate/pruebe nuevas cosas y que aprenda por mi mismo.
16. esta muy ocupado para ayudarme.
17. confia en mi.
18. trata de controlar mi vida.
19. me protege de peligros y dificultades.
20. ignora lo que tengo que decir.
21. esta conciente/ es sensible de mis sentimientos y necesidades
22. esta decepcionado con migo.
23. me aconseja independientemente de si se lo pido/a.
24. respeta mis decisions aunque no este de acuerdo.
25. hace cosas por mi aunque yo quisiera hacerlas por mi mismo/a
26. es alguien que tiene expectaciones que no puedo satisfacer.
27. me trata como niho/a.
Cuando hemos pasado tiempo junto, mi madre y mi padre...
28. es alguien aquien he esperado ver con ansia.
29. es alguien con quien he discutido.
30. es alguien con quien me he sentido comodo/a.
31. me ha enojado/a.
32. es alguien con quien he querido pasar todo mi tiempo.
33. es alguien con quien yo me he sentido fria/o y distant.
34. es alguien que me ha irritado.
35. me ha hecho sentir culpable y ansioso/a.
36. es alguien con quien me ha gustado conversar sobre lo que he hecho
37. es alguien a quien he querido.
38. lo/la he tratado de ignorar.
39. es alguien a quien le he contado mis pensamientos y preocupaciones.
40. es alguien con quien me ha gustado pasar el tiempo.
41. a quien no le he querido contar lo que esta pasando con migo.
Despues de que pasamos tiempo junto, dejo a mi padre y madre.
42. con sentimientos de carifio y sentimientos positives.
43. decepcionado/a y desilusionado/a.
Cuando tengo un problema serio o necesito hacer una decision important
considere su familiar en general.)
44. busco a mi familiar para que me ayuden.
45. voy a donde mi terapeuta, mi consejero escolar, o a la clerecia (padre,
ministry, o rabino.)
46. pienso sobre lo que me diria mi madre o mi madre.
47. lo resuelvo solo/a sin ayuda de nadie.
48. lo consult con un amigo/a
49. se que me familiar sabra que debo hacer.
50. le pregunto a mi familiar solo si mis amigos no me pueden ayudar.
Cuando le pido ayuda a mi padre o madre
51. me siento mas segura/o en el modo en que yo resuelvo mis problems.
52. continue sintiendome inseguro/a
53. siento que las cosas saldran bien si sigo el consejo de mis padre o madre.
54. me decepciona sus consejos.
STEPHENSON MULTIGROUP ACCULTURATION SCALE SPANISH
Abajo hay varias declaraciones que evaluan cambios que occurred cuando las personas
comparten con otras personas de diferentes cultures 6 grupos etnicas. Para las preguntas
que referentes a "PAIS DE ORIGEN" 6 "PAIS NATIVO," por favor refiera al pais de
donde vino tu familiar originalmente. Para las preguntas referentes a tu "IDIOMA
NATIVO," por favor refiera al idioma hablado donde vino tu familiar originalmente.
Marque la respuesta que corresponda mejor a cada declaracion.
Falsa Parcialmente Falsa Parcialmente Verdad Verdad
1 2 3 4
1. Entiendo el Ingles, pero no soy fluente en el Ingles. 1 2 3 4
2. Estoy informado/a de los asuntos actuales en los
Estados Unidos. 1 2 3 4
3. Yo hablo mi idioma native con mis amigos y conocidos
de mi pais de origen. 1 2 3 4
4. Yo nunca he aprendido el idioma de mi pais de origen. 1 2 3 4
5. Me siento totalmente c6modo/a con personas anglo
americanos. 1 2 3 4
6. Yo como comidas tradicionales de mi cultural native. 1 2 3 4
7. Yo tengo muchos amigos anglo americanos. 1 2 3 4
8. Me siento c6modo/a hablando mi idioma native. 1 2 3 4
9. Estoy informado/a de los asuntos actuales en mi pais
native. 1 2 3 4
10. Yo se como leer y escribir en mi idioma native. 1 2 3 4
11. Me siento en la casa en los Estados Unidos. 1 2 3 4
12. Asisto a funciones socials con personas de mi pais
native. 1 2 3 4
13. Me siento aceptado/a por anglo americanos. 1 2 3 4
14. Hablo mi idioma native en la casa. 1 2 3 4
15. Regularmente leo revistas de mi grupo etnico. 1 2 3 4
16. Yo se como hablar mi idioma native. 1 2 3 4
17. Yo se como preparar comidas anglo americanos. 1 2 3 4
18. Estoy familiarizado/a con la historic de mi pais
native. 1 2 3 4
19. Regularmente leo el peri6dico Americano. 1 2 3 4
20. Me gusta oir la musica de mi grupo etnico. 1 2 3 4
21. Me gusta hablar mi idioma native. 1 2 3 4
22. Me siento c6modo/a hablando el ingles.
23. Yo hablo ingles en la casa.
24. Yo hablo mi idioma native con mi esposo/a 6 socio.
25. Cuando rezo, uso mi idioma native.
26. Asisto funciones sociales con personas anglo
27. Yo pienso en mi idioma native.
28. Yo mantengo en contact cerco con miembros de mi
familiar y parientes en mi pais native.
29. Estoy familarizado/a con personas importantes en la
30. Yo pienso en ingles.
31. Yo hablo ingles con mi esposo/a 6 socio.
32. Me gusta comer comida Americana.
1 2 3 4
MARLOWE-CROWNE SOCIAL DESIRABILITY SCALE-SPANISH
Las siguientes declaraciones tratan con actitudes y rasgos personales. Lea cada
declaracion cuidadosamente y marque si usted las cree ciertas o falsas en cuanto a sus
1. Antes de votar, yo investigo diligentemente las cualidades de todos los
2. Nunca vacilo al moment de ayudarle a alguien con necesidad, aunque requiera
que yo haga un esfuerzo fuera de lo normal.
3. Aveces se me hace dificil seguir trabajando si no tengo aliento.
4. Nunca le he tenido una aversion intense a una persona.
5. En ciertas ocasiones he tenido dudas de mi capacidad de ser exitoso en la vida.
6. Aveces me resiento cuando no se hacen las cosas a mi modo.
7. Siempre soy cuidadoso con mi forma de vestir.
8. Mis modales al comer son igual de buenas en el hogar como en un restaurant.
9. Si estuviera seguro de que pudiera entrar a unos cines sin pagar, y sin que me
nadie me viera, yo lo haria.
10. En varias ocasiones he dejado de hacer algo porque no tenia confianza en mis
abilidades. (porque pense poco de mis abilidades)
11. Aveces me gusta chismosear. (Aveces me gusta contar y oir chismes)
12. Han avido veces que me he rebelado contra la autoridad aunque sabia que tenian
13. No importa quien hable, siempre soy bueno a escuchar.
14. Siempre estoy conciente de que puedo actuar como que estoy enfermo para no
hacer algo. (Not clear what the statement means)
15. Han avido ocasiones en que me he aprovechado de alguien.
16. Siempre soy capaz de admitir cuando he hecho un error.
17. Siempre trato de practicar las mismas eticas que les profeso a otros.
18. No se me hace dificil llevarme bien con gente que es escandalosa y irritante.
19. En ves de perdonar y olvidar los agravios, aveces prefiero vengarme.
20. No me cuesta admitirlo cuando no se algo.
21. Siempre soy cortes, hasta con personas que son desagradables.
22. Han avido tiempos que he insistido en que las cosas se hagan a mi manera.
23. Han avido ocasiones en que he querido quebrar cosas violentamente.
24. Nunca dejaria que alguien pagara por mis malhechos.
25. Nunca he resentido que alguien me cobre el favor que me hizo. (idiom)
26. Nunca me ha fastidiado que una persona haya expresado ideas diferente a las
27. Nunca tomo viajes largos sin revisar la seguridad de mi carro.
28. Han avido ocasiones en que he sentido celos por la buena suerte de otras
29. Nunca he tenido ganas de insultar o ser vulgar contra otros.
30. Aveces me irrita que me pidan favors.
31. Nunca he sentido que me hayan castigado sin causa.
32. Aveces he pensado que la mala suerte de algunos es merecida.
33. Nunca he lastimado a alguien verbalmente a proposito.
(1) Por favor circulo el numero de su sexo: (1) mujer
(2) Que edad tiene? aios
(3) Por favor circle el numero al lado de su etnia/raza o describe el grupo/etnia con cual
usted mas se identify
(3) Hispano; Latino; Hispano-Americano
(4) Islas Pacificas
(5) Grupo Nativos de los E.E.UU. (i.e. Cherokee, Sioux)
(6) Blanco; Euro-Americano
(7) Multicultural o Razas Mezcladas
(8) Otras: (explique)
(4) Por favor indique su estado generacional. Por ejemplo, si sus padres se mudaron para
este pais y usted naciste en los Estados Unidos, su estado generacional seria la segunda
(1) Primera generaci6n. Yo naci fuera de los Estados Unidos.
(2) Segunda Mis padres nacieron fuera de los Estados Unidos.
(3) Tercera Mis abuelos nacieron fuera de los Estados Unidos.
(4) Cuarta +
INFORMED CONSENT FORM
Protocol Title: Parent-Child Relationships and Adjustment
Please read this consent document carefully before you decide to participate in this study.
Purpose of the research study:
The purpose of this study is to learn about the association between parent-child
relationships and psychological adjustment.
What you will be asked to do in this study:
Note, you must be 18 years old or older to participate in this research study.
If you choose to participate in this study, you will complete paper-and-pencil
questionnaires that contain questions about your relationship with your parents and your
current adjustment. It will take 20-30 minutes to complete the questionnaires. There are
no right or wrong responses to the items on the questionnaires. You do not have to
answer any question you do not wish to answer.
20 to 30 minutes.
Risks and Benefits:
There are no known risks involved in completing the questionnaires and many students
find that they learn something about themselves from answering the items. Nonetheless,
if answering the questions makes you feel uncomfortable, you may consider speaking to a
counselor who may be able to help you with your reactions. You can contact a counselor
through the University of Florida Counseling Center (P301 Peabody Hall, 392-1575).
You may benefit by participating in this study through increased awareness and self-
understanding. You will also be contributing to knowledge regarding researchers' ability
to understand college student adjustment.
Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. To protect
confidentiality, your data will be assigned a code and no names will be
included with the data. The list connecting your name to this code will be kept in a
locked file in my office. When the study is completed and the data have been analyzed,
the list will be destroyed. Your name will not be used in any report.
Your participation in this study is completely voluntary. There is no penalty for not
Right to withdraw from the study:
You have the right to withdraw from the study at anytime without consequence.
Whom to contact if you have questions about the study:
Kenneth G. Rice, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville,
FL 32611-2250; ph 392-0601, x246.
Deborah T. Vergara, B. S., Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville,
FL 32611-2250; ph 392-0601, x506.
Whom to contact about your rights as a research participant in the study:
UFIRB Office, Box 112250, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-2250; ph 392-
I have read the procedure described above. I voluntarily agree to participate in the
procedure and I have received a copy of this description.
FORMULARIO DE APROBACION INFORMADO
Titulo del Acta: Relaci6nes de Padres e Hijo y Ajuste Sicol6gico
Por favor lea este document de aprobaci6n cuidadosamente antes que decidas participar
en este studio.
Proposito de este studio investigative:
El proposito de este studio es aprender de la asociaci6n entire las relaciones de padres e
hijo y ajuste sicol6gico.
Que le preguntan hacer en este studio:
Nota, usted debe tener 18 afios o mas para participar en este studio investigative.
Si elijes participar en este studio, usted completira encuestas de papel-y-lapicero que
contengan preguntas sobre su relaci6nes con sus padres y su ajuste sicol6gico actual.
Tardara 20-30 minutes para completar las encuestas. No hay respuestas correctas 6
incorrectas para las preguntas en las encuestas. No tienes que responder a ninguna
pregunta a que usted no quiera responder.
20 a 30 minutes.
Riesgos y beneficios:
No hay ningunos riesgos implicados con completando las encuestas y muchos estudiantes
encuentran que aprenden algo sobre ellos mismos cuando respondiendo a las preguntas.
No obstante, si respondiendo a las preguntas te hace sentir inc6modo, usted puede
considerar hablando con un consejero quien te pueda ayudar con tus reacciones. Tambien
puedes contactar un consejero por el Centro de Consejeria de la Universidad de la Florida
(P301 Peabody Hall, 392-1575). Puedes beneficiarte por participar en este studio de un
aumento en comprensi6n de si mismo. Tambien contribuiras al conocimiento con
respect a la abilidad de comprendir al ajusto sicol6gico de los estudiantes universitarios.
Su identidad se quedara confidencial a la magnitude proveido por la ley. Para protejer
confidencialidad, su informaci6n se le asignara un c6digo y ningun nombre se incluira
con esa informaci6n. La lista conectando su nombre con este c6digo se guardaran en un
caj6n en mi oficina. Cuando el studio esta completado y los datos analizados, esta lista
sera destruida. Su nombre no se va a usar en ningin report.
Su participaci6n en este studio es completamente voluntario. No hay penalidad por no
Derecho de Retirar del Estudio:
Usted tiene el derecho de retirarse del studio en cualquier moment sin consecuencia.
Quien Contactar Si Tienes Preguntas Sobre el Estudio:
Kenneth G. Rice, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville,
FL 32611-2250; telefono 392-0601, x246.
Deborah T. Vergara, B. S., Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville,
FL 32611-2250; telefono 392-0601, x506.
Quien Contactar Si Tienes Preguntas Sobre Sus Derechos Como un Participante en el
UFIRB Office, Box 112250, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-2250; telefono
Yo he leido el process describido arriba. Yo voluntariamente acuerdo participar en el
process y he recibido una copia de esta descripci6n.
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Deborah T. Townsend is a third-year graduate student in the counseling psychology
doctoral program at the University of Florida. She earned an Associate of Arts degree
from Florida International University in Miami, Florida, in 2000 and subsequently earned
a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from the University of Florida in 2002.