Vancouver Index of Acculturation (VIA)

Background:

The culture in which people live plays an important role in shaping their sense of self. Indeed, one facet of people’s self-identity is that they belong to a certain cultural group. Thus, they have a sense of themselves as being, for example, Canadian, American, or Chinese. When an individual moves from one culture to another, many aspects of self-identity are modified to accommodate information about and experiences within the new culture. This process, generally referred to as acculturation, involves changes that take place as a result of continuous and direct contact between individuals having different cultural origins (Redfield, Linton, & Herskovits, 1936). The Vancouver Index of Acculturation (VIA) is a measure of this construct.

Psychometrics:

Reliability of the VIA was assessed by means of Cronbach alpha coefficients and mean interitem correlations. Internal consistency (alpha) coefficients were .79 for the six-item Heritage subscale (mean interitem r — .40) and .75 for the six-item Mainstream subscale (mean interitem r = .34). Internal structure, specifically orthogonality, was assessed by calculating the subscale intercorrelation. This analysis demonstrated that the two dimensions of acculturation were orthogonal in the overall sample (r = .09, ns), as well as in both first- and second-generation groups (rs = .09 and .15, respectively, ns). It should be noted that the mean interitem correlations reported here are similar to the alpha coefficients reported for the two-item scales in Study 1, suggesting that the main advantage of the VIA is not better items but wider coverage of the culture domain. Authors evaluated concurrent validity by comparing the two dimensions with (a) percentage of time lived in a Western, English- speaking country, (b) percentage of time educated in a Western, English-speaking country, (c) the unidimensional acculturation score provided by the SL-ASIA, and (d) a single-item validity check measuring current cultural identification in a unidimensional fashion. The percentages of time lived in and educated in the West were significantly associated with the Mainstream subscale (rs = .47 and .41, respectively, ps < .001). Significant associations were found between the SL-ASIA and the Heritage and Mainstream subscales (rs = -.30 and .54, respectively, ps < .001), and the same was true for the single-item identity measure (rs = -.34 and .44, respectively, ps < .001).

Author of Tool:

Paulhus, D. L

Key references:

Ryder, A.G., Alden, L., & Paulhus, D.L. (2000).  Is acculturation unidimensional or bidimensional?: A head-to-head comparison in the prediction of demographics, personality, self-identity, and adjustment.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79, 49-65.

Primary use / Purpose:

This 20-item measure of acculturation distinguishes the acquisition of the new (host) cultural tendencies from the loss of old (heritage) cultural tendencies.

Vancouver Index of Acculturation (VIA)

Please circle one of the numbers to the right of each question to indicate your degree of agreement or disagreement.

Many of these questions will refer to your heritage culture, meaning the original culture of your family (other than American). It may be the culture of your birth, the culture in which you have been raised, or any culture in your family background. If there are several, pick the one that has influenced you most (e.g. Irish, Chinese, Mexican, African). If you do not feel that you have been influenced by any other culture, please name a culture that influenced previous generations of your family. Your heritage culture (other than American) is:

Disagree                                                                                                                                 Agree

1.     I often participate in my heritage cultural traditions.123456789
2.     I often participate in mainstream American cultural traditions.123456789
3.     I would be willing to marry a person from my heritage culture.123456789
4.     I would be willing to marry a white American person.123456789
5.     I enjoy social activities with people from the same heritage culture as myself.123456789
6.     I enjoy social activities with typical American people.123456789
7.     I am comfortable interacting with people of the same heritage culture as myself.123456789
8.     I am comfortable interacting with typical American people.123456789
9.     I enjoy entertainment (e.g. movies, music) from my heritage culture.123456789
10. I enjoy American entertainment (e.g. movies, music).123456789
11. I often behave in ways that are typical of my heritage culture.123456789
12. I often behave in ways that are typically American.123456789
13. It is important for me to maintain or develop the practices of my heritage culture.123456789
14. It is important for me to maintain or develop American cultural practices.123456789
15. I believe in the values of my heritage culture.123456789
16. I believe in mainstream American values.123456789
17. I enjoy the jokes and humor of my heritage culture.123456789
18. I enjoy white American jokes and humor.123456789
19. I am interested in having friends from my heritage culture.123456789
20. I am interested in having white American friends.123456789

Scoring:

The heritage subscore is the mean of the odd-numbered items, whereas the mainstream subscore is the mean of the even-numbered items. Researchers studying acculturation in other mainstream contexts may wish to change

‘North American’ to another descriptor such as ‘American’ in the United States or ‘British’ in Great Britain. Citation:

Ryder, A.G., Alden, L., & Paulhus, D.L. (2000). Is acculturation unidimensional or bidimensional?: A head-to-head comparison in the prediction of demographics, personality, self-identity, and adjustment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79, 49-65.