Date of Award

Summer 8-7-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Barbara Weschke, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Eileen St. John, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Damara Richen, Ed.D.


Acculturation is the process of cultural change (Berry, Phinney, Sam, & Vedder, 2010). The influence of socialization on acculturation using Berry’s (1980) theory of acculturation was examined. According to Berry’s (1980) theory the process of acculturation includes maintenance of the heritage culture and contact participation in the host culture. Information was collected from an examination of individual interviews of nine adolescent, first-, second-, or third-generation Vietnamese American participants, ages 12–14, from two public middle schools in the United States. An analysis of the data produced four themes under maintenance of the heritage culture: religious influence, cultural awareness, family experience, and parental support. Additionally, the data produced five themes under contact participation within the host culture: peer connection, contact participation, racial discrimination, academics, and extracurricular activities. Looking at the lived experiences through the lens of Berry’s (1980) bi-dimensional theory of acculturation, all nine participants’ negotiated maintenance of the heritage culture and assimilation through contact participation within the host culture. The data analysis revealed that socialization of all nine participants through the maintenance of the Vietnamese heritage culture and contact participation in the American host culture positively influenced their acculturation.

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