A Meta-Analysis of Acculturation and Enculturation: Bilinear, Multidimensional, and Context-Dependent Processes


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

Acculturation and enculturation are currently conceptualized as bilinear, multidimensional, and context-dependent cultural socialization processes (Yoon et al., 2013). Yet, this conceptualization requires further specification and empirical evidence. Our work is timely given the downward shift in productivity of traditional acculturation research and the need for a new direction. We examined the constructs and processes of acculturation and enculturation by meta-analytically synthesizing the findings of 255 publications (343 independent samples). In support of a bilinear (vs. unilinear) conceptualization, we found that acculturation and enculturation were only slightly associated with each other, r = −.18. In support of multidimensionality and context-dependency, their relationship varied by dimension (e.g., nonsignificant association of mainstream and ethnic identities vs. significant associations in other dimensions), geographic region, and race. Additionally, acculturation and enculturation rates/patterns varied by dimension; extrinsic changes (e.g., behavior) proceeded faster than intrinsic changes (e.g., values, identity). We discuss a direction for future research and implications for practice, advocacy, and education/training.

Fahs-Beck Scholars

Meet the Scholars

Fahs-Beck Fellows

Meet the Fellows


Our grant programs are changing.


Learn more