Qi Zhang

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Orem, Richard A.

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education


Chinese--Cultural assimilation--United States; Acculturation--United States; Teachers' spouses--United States


This study investigated the relationship of some selected demographic factors and acculturation level among scholars and their dependent spouses from Mainland China. The demographic factors chosen as independent variables of the study included length of exposure to the host culture, age at migration, gender, status, and participation in adult learning. The dependent variable, acculturation level of the participants, was measured through the adaptation of the Suinn-Lew Asian Acculturation Identity Scale. The dependent variable was correlated with each independent variable to explore their respective relationship. The Pearson product-moment coefficient of correlation was employed to describe the strength of the relationship between each pair of variables. The sample group of the study was composed of 102 Chinese scholars and their dependent spouses residing in the Midwest United States. All of them came to the US as graduate students, visiting scholars, or dependent spouses from Mainland China in the last twenty years or so. The purpose of the study was to discover the major factors with significant impact on the acculturation of the target population and to identify the population as a specific subgroup of Chinese immigrants. The acculturation literature reveals the relationship of some demographic factors and acculturation level in various ethnic groups of immigrants. Length of exposure to the host culture, age at migration, and gender are among the most evident factors correlated with acculturation level, though the strength and direction of relationship vary from one ethnic group to another. The study adopted these three demographic factors as independent variables and added two more to expand the scope of study, one focusing on the differences between scholars and their dependent spouses, and the other emphasizing the connections between acculturation and adult learning. Conclusions were made based on analyses of the data collected with the adapted SL-ASIA and the demographic questionnaire. A significant positive relationship was found between length of exposure to the host culture and acculturation level, between status and acculturation level, and between participation in adult learning and acculturation level among the participants, while no significant relationship was found between age at migration and acculturation level, or between gender and acculturation level in the sample group. In addition to these conclusions as they relate to the current literature, the personal experiences of the researcher as well as those of his family were included to provide further validation of the findings resulting from an analysis of the survey data. While limited by its research design in exploring the interactions of the variables upon each other, this study makes recommendations for future research with questions and subjects in the fields of acculturation and adult education.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [123]-131)


viii, 144 pages




Northern Illinois University

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