Behavioral and Academic Adjustment of Remotely Acculturating Adolescents in Urban Jamaica

Gail M. Ferguson, Radosveta Dimitrova

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Remote acculturation (RA) is a modern form of non-migrant acculturation toward distant cultures prompted by indirect/intermittent globalization-related cultural exposure. RA theory holds that not only are global cultures now pouring into local neighborhoods, but many youth are also internalizing these remote cultures. How well do they fare? Prior studies in Jamaica and elsewhere have reported that U.S./Western-oriented adolescents exhibit poorer health habits. However, no studies have yet investigated adolescents’ behavioral or academic adjustment in the context of RA, whether in Jamaica or elsewhere. Therefore, 245 adolescents and their mothers from high schools in Kingston, Jamaica (Madolescent_age= 13.3; Mmother_age = 40.2) completed questionnaires assessing their RA in terms of behaviors and values, as well as the adolescents’ behavioral resilience and grades. SEM analyses revealed that RA was, indeed, linked to adolescent behavioral and academic adjustment in Jamaica. Overall, Jamaican orientation was associated with better adaptation whereas European American orientation was associated with worse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-47
Number of pages21
JournalNew directions for child and adolescent development
Issue number164
StatePublished - Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The preparation of this manuscript was funded the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, whereas data collection for the larger Culture and Family Life Study was funded largely by Knox College. We gratefully acknowledge collaborators on the Culture and Family Life Study, Marc Bornstein and Audrey Pottinger, and thank the participating schools and families in Jamaica for their partnership in this research.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


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