Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

July 2005


Published in Journal of American College Health, 54 (July/August 2005), pp. 7-13. Reprinted with permission of the Helen Dwight Reid Educational Foundation. Published by Heldref Publications, 1319 18th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036-1802. Copyright © 2005.
Heldref Publications:
Journal of American College Health:


The authors examined relations among different measures of acculturation, and between acculturation and sexual behavior, in a sample of female Cuban American college students (n = 61, M age = 18.4 years) who completed self-report surveys. In the first set of analyses, weak to moderate associations emerged among 4 measures of acculturation (birthplace, childhood language use, current language use, and ethnic identity), suggesting that inconsistent findings from prior research may have resulted from measurement limitations. In multivariate analyses, the authors examined predictors of sexual behavior and found that 1 aspect of acculturation (higher levels of ethnic identity) and background characteristics (being older and less religious) were associated with voluntary sexual intercourse. Moreover, higher levels on a sexual risk composite were associated with being born in the United States, more ethnically identified, older, and less religious. These analyses highlight the need for specificity in assessing acculturation in a college student population and support the need to examine cultural factors directly in sexuality research.