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


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 languageAmerican English
JournalCultural Diversity Ethnic Minority Psychology
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • language broker
  • ethnic identity
  • acculturation
  • acculturative stress
  • filial piety
  • communalism
  • familial ethnic socialization


  • Psychology
  • Curriculum and Instruction

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