The AHIMSA Acculturation Scale: A New Measure of Acculturation for Adolescents in a Multicultural Society

Document Type



Community and Global Health (CGU)

Publication Date



Health Psychology | Multicultural Psychology | Race and Ethnicity | Social Psychology


Acculturation has been associated with adolescent health-risk behaviors. Most acculturation scales are inappropriate for adolescent surveys because they are too long, are not applicable to differing ethnic groups, or are language-based only. A brief, multidimensional, multicultural acculturation measure for adolescents was developed. Sixthgrade students (N = 317) in Los Angeles completed that scale and other measures of acculturation. The Acculturation, Habits, and Interests Multicultural Scale for Adolescents (AHIMSA) generates four subscores: United States Orientation (Assimilation), Other Country Orientation (Separation), Both Countries Orientation (Integration), and Neither Country Orientation (Marginalization). Three of the subscales were correlated with the subscales of a modified Acculturation Rating Scale for Mexican-Americans-II, with English language usage, and with generation in the United States providing evidence for the validity of the scale. Research on culturally diverse adolescent samples might benefit from the inclusion of the AHIMSA.

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© 2002 Sage Publications, Inc.