Attachment Style, Mother Tongue Proficiency and Sociocultural Identity Amongst Second and Third Generation South Asian Immigrants in Hong Kong

  • Kulwinder Kaur Dhaliwal University of Edinburgh
  • Laura A. Cariola The University of Edinburgh

Abstract


This study examined the relationship between attachment style, mother tongue (L1) and dominant language (DL) proficiency, sociocultural identification with the culture of origin, and life satisfaction amongst second-generation and third-generation South Asian immigrants in Hong Kong. Participants included 69 women and 28 men who were permanent residents of South Asian ethnicity, and who had grown up in Hong Kong. The results identified significant associations between attachment insecurity and L1 and DL proficiency, as well as commitment to the origin culture. There was a positive association between life satisfaction and commitment levels to origin culture, indicating that high commitment levels to origin culture tend to coexist with high life satisfaction. This study adds to the existing literature with a focus on language skills, attachment and acculturation in immigrant populations.

 

References

Ainsworth, M. D. S. (1967). Infancy in Uganda: infant care and the growth of love. Johns Hopkins Press.
Ainsworth, M. D. S., Blehar, M. C., Waters, E., & Wall, S. (1978). Patterns of attachment. Lawrence Erlbaum.
Barker, C., Pistrang, N., & Elliott, R. (2016). Research methods in clinical psychology: An introduction for students and practitioners. Wiley.
Bakermans-Kranenburg, van IJzendoorn, M. H., & Juffer, F. (2003).
Less is more: Meta-analyses of sensitivity and attachment interventions in early childhood. Psychological Bulletin, 129, 195–215.
Berry, J. W. (2019). Acculturation: A personal journey across cultures. Cambridge University Press.
Bornstein, M. H., Putnick, D. L., Bohr, Y., Abdelmaseh, M., Lee, C. Y., & Esposito, G. (2020). Maternal sensitivity and language in infancy each promotes child core language skill in preschool. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 51, 483–489.
Bowlby, J. (1969). Attachment and loss Vol. 1: Attachment. Basic Books.
Bowlby, J. (1973). Attachment and loss Vol 2: Separation, anxiety and anger. Basic Books.
Bowlby, J. (1979). The making and breaking of affectional bonds. Tavistock.
Brown, S. D., Hu, K. A. U., Mevi, A. A., Hedderson, M. M., Shan, J., Quesenberry, C. P., & Ferrara, A. (2014). The multigroup ethnic identity measure—revised: Measurement invariance across racial and ethnic groups. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 61, 154–161.
Català, A. B. (2015). The cultural component in the first language (L1) teaching: Cultural heritage, identity and motivation in language learning. Procedia, Social and Behavioral Sciences, 178, 20–25.
Costantini, A., Cassibba, R., Coppola, G., & Castoro, G. (2011). Attachment security and language development in an Italian sample. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 36, 85–92
Cycyk, L. M., Bitetti D., & Hammer, C. S. (2015). Maternal depressive symptomatology, social support, and language development of bilingual preschoolers from low-income households. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 24, 411–425.
Dewaele, J.-M., Heredia, R. & Cieślicka A. (2020) How childhood languages shape future language knowledge, language use, anxiety and cultural orientation. Multicultural Education Review, 12, 117–135.
Di Carlo, C. F. Onwujuba, C., & Baumgartner, J. I. (2014). Infant communicative behaviors and maternal responsiveness. Child and Youth Care Forum, 43, 195–209.
Diener, E., Emmons, R., Griffin, S., & Larsen, R. (1985). The satisfaction with life scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71–75.
Erni, J. N., & Leung, L. Y.-M. (2014). Understanding South Asian minorities in Hong Kong. Hong Kong Scholarship Online.
Fraley, R. C., Waller, N. G., & Brennan, K. A. (2000). An item response theory analysis of self-report measures of adult attachment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78, 350–365.
Goldstein, M. H., & Schwade, J. A. (2008). Social feedback to infants’ babbling facilitates rapid phonological learning. Psychological Science, 19, 515–523.
Grosjean, F. (2012). Bilingual: Life and reality. Harvard University Press
Hammer, K. (2016). Bilingual bonds. International Journal of Language and Culture, 3, 253–279.
Holliman, A., & Critten, S. (2015). What is the point of childhood? Early experiences and social relationships. In: Investigating Psychology 2 The Open University.
Hong, Y., Fang, Y., Yang, Y., & Phua, D. Y. (2013). Cultural Attachment: A new theory and method to understand cross-cultural competence. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 44, 1024–1044.
Kaushanskaya, M., Blumenfeld, H. K., & Marian, V. (2019). The language experience and proficiency questionnaire (LEAP-Q): Ten years later. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 1-6.
Keller, H. (2013). Attachment and culture. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 44, 175-194.
Keller, H. (2017). Culture and development: A systematic relationship. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 12, 833–840.
Kwok, S. T., & Narain, K. (2003). Co-prosperity in cross-culturalism: Indians in Hong Kong. Chinese University Press.
Laranjo, J., & Bernier, A. (2013). Children's expressive language in early toddlerhood: links to prior maternal mind-mindedness. Early Child Development and Care, 183, 951–962.
Leigh, P., Nievar, M. A., & Nathans, L. (2011). Maternal sensitivity and language in early childhood: A test of the transactional model. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 113(1), 281-299.
Marian, V., Blumenfeld, H. K., & Kaushanskaya, M. (2007). The language experience and proficiency questionnaire (LEAP-Q): Assessing language profiles in bilinguals and multilinguals. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 50, 940–967.
Merz, Eva-Maria, & Consedine, Nathan S. (2012). Ethnic Group Moderates the Association Between Attachment and Well-Being in Later Life. Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology, 18(4), 404–415.
Naber, F. B. A., Swinkles, S. H. N., Buitelaar, J. K., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J., van IJzendoorn, M. H., Dietz, C., van Daalen, E., & van Engeland, H. (2007). Attachment in toddlers with autism and other developmental disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37, 1123-–1138.
Neuhauser, A., Ramseier, E., Schaub, S., Burkhardt, S. C. A., & Lanfranchi, A. (2018). Mediating role of maternal sensitivity: Enhancing language development in at-risk families. Infant Mental Health Journal, 39, 522–536.
Nozadi, S. S., Spinrad, T. L., Eisenberg, N., Bolinck, R., Eggum-Wilkens, N. D., Smith, C. L., Gartner, B., Kupfer, A., & Sallquist, J. (2013). Predictions of toddlers’ expressive language from maternal sensitivity and toddlers’ anger expressions: A developmental perspective. Infant Behavior and Development, 36, 650–661.
Oades-Sese, G. V., & Li, Y. (2011). Attachment relationships as predictors of language skills for at-risk bilingual preschool children. Psychology in the Schools, 48, 707–722.
Paavola, L., Kemppinen, K., Kumpulainen, K., Moilanen, I., & Ebeling, H. (2006) Maternal sensitivity, infant co-operation and early linguistic development: Some predictive relations. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 3, 13–30.
Panicacci, A., & Dewaele, J.-M. (2017). “A voice from elsewhere”: Migration, personality and multiple selves in multiple languages. International Journal of Multilingualism, 14, 419–436.
Phinney, J. S., & Ong, A. D. (2007). Conceptualization and measurement of ethnic identity: Current status and future directions. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 54, 271–281.
Plüss, C. (2000). Transnational identities: Hong Kong Indians. The International Scope Review, 24, 1–19
Polek, E., Oudenhoven, J. P. V., & Berge, J. M. F. T. (2011). Evidence for a “migrant personality”: Attachment styles of Poles in Poland and Polish immigrants in the Netherlands. Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies, 9, 311–326.
Ponciano, C., Wang, C. D. C., & Jin, L. (2020). Attachment, acculturative stress, and mental health immigrants. Counselling Psychology Quarterly. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09515070.2020.1813688
Pungello, E. P., Iruka, I. P., Dotterer, A. M., Mills-Koonce, W. R., & Reznick, J. S. (2009). The effects of income, race, and parenting practices on language development in early childhood. Developmental Psychology, 45, 544–557.
Ravitz, P., Maunder, R., Hunter, J., Sthankiya, B., & Lancee, W. (2010). Adult attachment measures: A 25-year review. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 69, 419-432.
Sam, D. L., & Berry, J. W. (2016). The Cambridge handbook of acculturation psychology. Cambridge University Press.
Silvén M., Niemi P., Voeten M. J. M. (2002). Do maternal interaction and early language predict phonological awareness in 3 to 4 year olds? Cognitive Development, 17, 1133–1155.
Sochos, A., & Diniz, M. (2011). The role of attachment in immigrant sociocultural adaptation and psychological distress. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 22, 75–91.
Spearman, C. (1910). Correlation calculated from faulty data. British Journal of Psychology, 1904-1920, 3(3), 271–295.
Su, T. F., & Costigan, C. L. (2009). The development of children’s ethnic identity in immigrant Chinese families in Canada: The role of parenting practices and children’s perceptions of parental family obligation expectations. The Journal of Early Adolescence, 29, 638–663.
Tomasello, M., & Farrar, M. J. (1986). Joint attention and early language. Child Development, 57(6), 1453–1463.
Tonsing, K. N. (2010). A study of acculturation and adaptation of South Asians in Hong Kong. The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences: Annual Review, 5, 189–200.
Tonsing, K., N. (2013). Predictors of psychological adaptation of South Asian immigrants in Hong Kong. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 37, 238–248.
Tonsing, K. N. (2014). Acculturation and adaptation of first- and second-generation South Asians in Hong Kong. International Journal of Social Welfare, 23, 410–420.
Tonsing, K. N., Tse, S., & Tonsing, J. C. (2015). Acculturation, perceived discrimination, and psychological distress: Experiences of South Asians in Hong Kong. Transcultural Psychiatry, 53, 124–144.
Tseng, V., & Fuligni, A. J. (2000). Parent-adolescent language use and relationships among immigrant families with East Asian, Filipino, and Latin American backgrounds. Journal of Marriage and Family, 62, 465–476.
United Nations. (2019). World population prospects - population division. United Nations. https://population.un.org/wpp/
Vassar, M. (2007). A note on the score reliability for the satisfaction with life scale: an RG study. Social Indicators Research, 86, 47–57.
van Ecke, Y. V. (2005). Immigration from an attachment perspective. Social Behavior and Personality: an International Journal, 33, 467–476.
van IJzendoorn, M. H., Dijkstra, J., & Bus, A. G. (1995). Attachment, intelligence, and language: A meta-analysis. Social Development, 4, 115–128.
van Oudenhoven, J. P. V., & Hofstra, J. (2006). Personal reactions to ‘strange’ situations: Attachment styles and acculturation attitudes of immigrants and majority members. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 30, 783–798.
Wang, C.-C. D., & Mallinckrodt, B. (2006). Acculturation, attachment, and psychosocial adjustment of Chinese/Taiwanese international students. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 53, 422–433
Weinfield, N. S., Sroufe, L. A., Egeland, B., & Carlson, E. (2011). Individual differences in infant-caregiver attachment. In J. Cassidy & P. R. Shaver (Eds.), Handbook of attachment: Theory, research and clinical applications (pp. 78–101). The Guildford Press.
Wu, Z., & Gros-Louis, J. (2014). Infants’ prelinguistic communicative acts and maternal responses: Relations to linguistic development. First Language, 34, 72–90.
Published
08-Mar-2021
How to Cite
Dhaliwal, K., & Cariola, L. (2021). Attachment Style, Mother Tongue Proficiency and Sociocultural Identity Amongst Second and Third Generation South Asian Immigrants in Hong Kong. Language and Psychoanalysis, 10(1), 1-14. https://doi.org/10.7565/landp.v10i1.5475