The Relationship between Identity and Acculturation in International Students in Turkey

1TED University, TURKEY.
2Ankara University, TURKEY.
DOI: 10.14689/ejer.2021.92.15


Purpose: This study aimed to discover identity statuses and acculturation strategies of international students in Turkey, as well as revealing the relationship between these concepts.

Research Methods: To investigate the relationship, a correlational research design was used. Turkish version of Acculturation Questionnaire and Turkish version of Ego-Identity Process Questionnaire were administered to 156 international students in Turkey.

Findings: The findings showed that the most common acculturation strategy was assimilation and the most seen identity statuses were achievement and diffusion. High rates of assimilation and identity diffusion were remarkable results as they can be threatening both for immigrants and the receiving society. There was a significant relationship between identity statuses and acculturation strategies showing that achieved identity development provides more integrated acculturation. Finally, there was a significant difference between genders concerning acculturation strategies which can be interpreted by conservatism and risk-taking behaviors, as well as socialization.

Implications for Research and Practice: Acculturation is related to identity development; thus, embracing differences and providing support for immigrants would help their healthy identity development. It will, in return, contribute to the receiving society’s well-being. Further research using different identity models, with higher number of participants and adopting triangulation would provide a deeper insight into the issue.

Keywords: immigrants, emerging adulthood, cultural adaptation, identity development, ethnic identity.