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Acculturation and Cognitive Performance of Migrant Children in The Netherlands

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Acculturative strategies and cognitive acculturation were studied among 118 Dutch migrant children (age: 7-12 years). Both an exploratory factor analysis and a Linear Logistic Test Model analysis provided evidence for the bipolar unidimensionality of Berry's four acculturation strategies; integration constituted one pole and assimilation, separation, and marginalization the other. Integration was by far the most popular strategy. Cognitive performance was measured by the Snijders-Oomen Nonverbal Intelligence Test, school report measures, and a computer-assisted choice reaction-time measure. A good fit was found for a structural model that postulated cognitive acculturation as the latent variable linking background measures (i.e. acculturation strategy, second language usage, age, and gender) to the cognitive measures. Relationships between background variables and cognitive performance were stronger in the first than in the second generation. Both older children and children who favour an integration strategy showed a higher degree of cognitive acculturation. Cette etude analyse les strategies d'acculturation et l'acculturation cognitive chez 118 enfants immigrants neerlandais (age: 7-12 ans). Une analyse factorielle exploratoire et une analyse par le Linear Logistic Test Model appuient l'unidimensionnalite bipolaire des quatre strategies d'acculturation proposees par Berry; l'integration constitue l'un des poles tandis que l'assimilation, la separation et la marginalisation constituent l'autre pole. L'integration represente la strategie qui est de loin la plus populaire. La performance cognitive est mesuree par le test d'intelligence non verbale Snijders-Oomen, par des mesures de performance scolaire et par une mesure de temps de choix dans une tache assistee par ordinateur. Les donnees correspondent bien a un modele structural selon lequel l'acculturation cognitive serait la variable latente reliant les mesures de base (i.e. strategie d'acculturation, utilisation d'une langue seconde, age et sexe) et les mesures cognitives. Les relations entre les variables de base et la performance cognitive sont plus fortes chez le premiere que chez la deuxieme generation d'immigrants. Les enfants plus ages et les enfants qui favorisent une strategie d'integration montrent un plus fort degre d'acculturation cognitive.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 1999

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