Integrated Social Class Identities Improve Academic Performance, Well-Being, and Workplace Satisfaction

Sarah D. Herrmann, Michael Varnum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Biculturalism has typically been used as a framework to understand the experiences of people who move to new societies or who have multiple ethnic identities; we argue that first-generation college (FGC) students can also be thought of as bicultural as a function of social class. FGC students undergo adjustment to the middle-class culture of universities and face challenges negotiating different cultural identities. The present research demonstrated that FGC students are more likely to identify as bicultural and experience dissonance between home and school (Study 1), that integrated social class identities are linked to positive outcomes for FGC students during (Study 2) and after college (Study 3), and that these effects are due in part to reduced acculturative stress (Study 4). These findings suggest that integrating different class identities may be key to the success of FGC students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
StateAccepted/In press - Mar 1 2018


  • academic performance
  • bicultural
  • first-generation college students
  • SES
  • social class
  • well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology


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