Title page for ETD etd-11152006-212415

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Lee, Soyoung
Author's Email Address solee1@vt.edu
URN etd-11152006-212415
Title Theorizing and Testing Models of Community Capacity and Acculturation
Degree PhD
Department Human Development
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Mancini, Jay A. Committee Chair
Allen, Katherine R. Committee Member
Benson, Mark J. Committee Member
Blieszner, Rosemary Committee Member
Henderson, Tammy L. Committee Member
Kim, Kee Jeong Committee Member
  • community capacity
  • acculturation
  • theoretical models
  • Korean immigrants
  • community provisions
  • community engagement
  • sense of community
Date of Defense 2006-11-01
Availability unrestricted

The primary purpose of this research project was to explain how Korean immigrants develop acculturation attitudes toward Korean and American culture and how these attitudes are related to their experiences within their community in America. In order to achieve this goal, this project consisted of two empirical studies.

In Study 1, the model of community capacity and acculturation was tested using structural equation modeling and the model fit the data very well. The results of the hypotheses tests in Study 1 were as follows: Sense of Community, Community Provisions, and Community Engagement were positively correlated with each other. Sense of Community and Community Provisions directly influenced acculturation attitudes toward American culture. Community Capacity directly influenced acculturation attitudes toward Korean culture. Sense of community and Community Provisions had significant indirect effects on acculturation attitudes toward Korean culture.

In Study 2, using structural equation modeling, the model of community adjustment was tested across three groups (INTEGRATION, ASSIMILATION, and SEPARATION) who had developed different acculturation attitudes and the model fit the data well except for ASSIMILATION. The results of the tests of the hypotheses in Study 2 were as follows: Sense of Community and Community Capacity were positively correlated with each other in all groups. Only INTEGRATION did Sense of Community directly influence Community Provisions. However, Community Capacity directly influenced community provisions in all three groups. In INTEGRATION and SEPARATION, Community Engagement directly influenced Community Provisions. Community Capacity indirectly influenced Community Provisions in both INTEGRATION and SEPARATION. Finally, I concluded that Korean immigrants experienced the process of community adjustment differently regarding acculturation attitudes.

Results from these investigations explicitly reveal that the application of community capacity in research on acculturation was valuable for explaining some individual and contextual variations in acculturation. Acculturation was a complex, multi-dimensional process. Korean immigrants developed different attitudes and their attitudes impacted differently on their lives within their larger community. The theoretical concept of community capacity has much promise as a guide for future theory and research on acculturation.

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