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Dimensions of biculturalism: the development of bicultural identity orientation scale (BIOS) Open Access


Other title
ethnic identity
scale development
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Comanaru, Ruxandra-Silvia
Supervisor and department
Noels, Kimberly (Psychology)
Examining committee member and department
Derwing, Tracey (Educational Psychology)
Masuda, Takahiko (Psychology)
Baerveldt, Cor (Psychology)
Department of Psychology

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Arts
Degree level
Four studies (focus groups, exploratory and confirmatory analysis, and follow-up interviews) were designed to investigate people's experiences of biculturalism, particularly as they related to ethnic identity, identity conflict and integration, and hybridity, and to develop a new instrument that would better tap at the concept of biculturalism. Previous literature conducted by Benet-Martinez (2002, 2005) identified two relevant axes for bicultural identity: conflict-harmony and distance-overlap, while Yip (2005), Phinney (1991) and Noels (2004) emphasized the role of context for biculturals. We identified five interrelated dimensions, which provide a better understanding of the experiences of biculturalism. These dimensions are conflict (a perceived discord between the two cultures), monocultural orientation (the desire to be part of only one of the two cultures), flexibility (the alternation of behaviours and attitudes depending on the context), compatibility (perceived congruence between the two cultures) and hybridity (the blend of the two cultures to create one). A new instrument, the Bicultural Identity Orientation Scale, was developed based on the literature review and the anecdotal evidence provided by the participants. The instrument showed validity and reliability. The implications and future directions are discussed in light of the findings.
License granted by Ruxandra Comanaru ( on 2009-05-25T22:35:46Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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