"Ayiti Cheri": Cultural Orientation of Early Adolescents in Rural Haiti

Gail M. Ferguson, Charlene Desir, Marc H. Bornstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Adolescents are an emerging population in Haiti, particularly after the deadly 2010 earthquake. The steady penetration of U.S. culture into this poor, disaster-prone country begs the question, Do today's adolescents possess a similar fondness for their home country, culture, and traditional family values as did Haitians of old? Or are they more oriented toward U.S. culture? Early adolescents (N = 105, 52% female, M = 12.87 years, SD = .86) in rural Haiti reported their cultural orientation toward Haitian culture and U.S. culture as well as their family obligations beliefs. Findings revealed high Haitian orientation, very high family obligations (boys especially), and very low U.S. orientation, although adolescents who interacted more frequently with U.S. tourists and those who consumed more U.S. fast food had higher U.S. culture orientation. Despite severe challenges, rural Haitian early adolescents demonstrate remarkable allegiance to their home country, culture, and traditional family values.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)621-637
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Early Adolescence
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was supported by Mellon Foundation funds awarded by Knox College and by the Intramural Research Program of the NIH, NICHD. We thank Blondel Joseph for language translation and practical assistance with data collection in Haiti, and Aparna Kumar and Joyce Lee for data entry assistance. Most importantly, we thank the participating adolescents for their generosity.


  • Caribbean
  • cultural maintenance
  • family obligations
  • globalization
  • remote acculturation


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