Cultural Influences for College Student Language Brokers

Robert S. Weisskirch, Su Yeong Kim, Byron L. Zamboanga, Seth J. Schwartz, Melina Bersamin, Adriana J. Umaña-Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Children from immigrant families often translate communication for parents, a process known as language brokering (LB). LB begins in childhood, but may continue through emerging adulthood, even when individuals are in college. We surveyed 1,222 university students with two immigrant parents and compared non-language brokers, infrequent language brokers, and frequent language brokers on a variety of ethnic, cultural, and identity measures. Significant differences emerged for cultural heritage value orientation, ethnic identity, and dimensions of acculturation with frequent language brokers scoring highest, infrequent language brokers scoring in the middle, and non-language brokers scoring the lowest on these measures. There were no significant differences on acculturative stress among these three groups. These results suggest that LB experiences may contribute to the development of psychological assets for ethnic minority, emerging adults from immigrant families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-51
Number of pages9
JournalCultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • Acculturation
  • Acculturative stress
  • Communalism
  • Ethnic identity
  • Familial ethnic socialization
  • Filial piety
  • Language broker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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