The acculturation of relational mobility: An investigation of Asian Canadians

Rui ZHANG, Man Wai LI

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15 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, we extended the socioecological approach in cross-cultural psychology to the acculturation context. We focused on relational mobility among Asian Canadians and how it is related to their acculturation experience. Previous research shows that relational mobility, which is a feature of one’s social environment, is generally higher in North America than East Asia. In Study 1, we found that migration does not completely bridge the cross-national gap in relational mobility. Compared with European Canadians, Asian Canadians continued to perceive lower relational mobility around them. Study 2 explored the relations between relational mobility and Asian Canadians’ acculturation experiences. Relational mobility was correlated specifically with sociocultural adaptation, but not contact, acculturation orientations, psychological adaptation, or experience of discrimination. It was also uniquely associated with normative belief about relational mobility. Finally, we largely replicated the effects of relational mobility on self-esteem (Study 1) and close friendships (Study 2) in the acculturation context, with the latter effects further mediated by normative belief about relational mobility. Implications of our findings for relational mobility and acculturation research are discussed. Copyright © 2014 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1390-1410
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Issue number9
Early online dateJul 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014


Zhang, R., & Li, L. M. W. (2014). The acculturation of relational mobility: An investigation of Asian Canadians. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 45(9), 1390-1410. doi: 10.1177/0022022114542850


  • Relational mobility
  • Acculturation
  • Socioecological approach
  • Sociocultural adaptation
  • Normative belief


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