Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Capturing Enculturation Awareness: Conscious Negotiations between Culture and the Self

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posted on 2021-11-15, 16:05 authored by Balanovic, Jovana

Enculturation (cultural acquisition during identity development) has often been conceptualised as an unconscious process of cultural internalization. However, little research has explicitly examined the degree to which people are aware of cultural influences on the self (enculturation awareness) and how varying levels of awareness may influence the development of the self-concept. Drawing from extant qualitative research (Balanovic & Ward, 2013), the current investigation addressed this paucity through the development of the Enculturation Awareness Scale (EAS), which captures the degree to which individuals have consciously considered and come to understand cultural influences on the self. Using two distinct samples drawn from English speaking, multicultural nations (sample 1, New Zealand, N = 224; sample 2, New Zealand, Australia, USA, N = 317), the results present initial evidence for the validity and reliability of the EAS by demonstrating consistent relationships between the EAS and criterion measures of identity exploration (Cultural-Identity Exploration, Exploration in Depth, Exploration in Breadth, Ruminative Exploration), identity clarity (Cultural Identity Clarity, Self-Concept Clarity, Identity Coherence), and identity commitment (Identification with Commitment, Commitment Making). Furthermore, the emergent findings situate enculturation awareness within a nomological network of theoretically related constructs such as perceived agency, empathy and positive psychological outcomes. The development of the EAS has important implications for future theorising concerning the dynamic interplay between culture and the development of the self-concept.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Crosscultural Psychology

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Science

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and the Cognitive sciences

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Psychology


Ward, Colleen; Stuart, Jaimee