Date of Award

5-1-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Committee Chair

Andrea L. Wesley

Committee Chair Department

Psychology

Committee Member 2

Sheree Watson

Committee Member 2 Department

Psychology

Committee Member 3

John C. Koeppel

Committee Member 3 Department

Psychology

Committee Member 4

Mary N. McNeese

Committee Member 4 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Member 5

J.T. Johnson

Committee Member 5 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Abstract

Communalism has become a very important variable for research investigation recently because the field of cultural psychology has been searching for new models to foster a clear understanding of culture or for ways to improve current models. This study investigated the validity of using The Communalism Scale to assess the communal (group focus rather than individual focus) aspect of culture in specific ethnic groups. Until now, the scale was used only with African Americans; however, the current study assessed the validity of the scale with several cultural groups. Results from previous studies have demonstrated clear internal consistency for The Communalism Scale; however, there appeared to be a need for further validation of the scale. Research hypotheses included predictions about The Communalism Scale with regards to specific ethnic groups and geographical location of these groups. This study found that the communalism construct was endorsed by several ethnic groups, including Asian/Pacific Islander, African American, European American, and multiracial ethnic populations. Results also indicated significant differences between ethnic groups and some of these differences were noted regardless of geographical location. Understanding the value of using The Communalism Scale with cultural groups adds to the current cultural model and has the ability to influence the effectiveness of measuring communalistic aspects of culture.

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