The current study used questionnaires in order to survey a sample of rural high school students regarding their self-esteem, attitudes toward acculturation, and their sense of ethnic identity. Students' ratings of self-esteem were not related to their sense of ethnic or racial identity nor their generational status, or how far removed they are from their cultural background. However, when acculturation attitudes were examined, the results were somewhat unexpected. The students who endorsed integration, or the idea that immigrants should both maintain their cultural traditions and try to adapt to their new culture, reported higher levels of self-esteem and identified themselves as completely American. The current findings were discussed in comparison to the results of previous studies conducted in inner-city communities such as New York City. Also discussed were the implications the current study has for educating and counseling adolescents in an increasingly diverse American school system.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Ethnicity; Acculturation; Self-esteem in young adults

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Department of Psychology (CLA)


McCabe, Paul

Advisor/Committee Member

Barry, Brian


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: GN495.6 .P67 1998


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