Date of Award


Access Restriction

Campus Access only Theses

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Counseling Psychology

School or College

Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts


This study examined the level to which an individual's identification with his or her culture related to that individual's self-esteem level. The main hypothesis stated that individuals who showed strong levels of cultural identification would also show high levels of self-esteem as well, provided that they also supported interactions with the majority culture. It was also hypothesized that the overall sample would endorse integration more than assimilation or separation in terms of its attitude toward acculturation. Participants completed various questionnaires which assessed their cultural identification, acculturation attitudes, and self-esteem levels. Results did not show an interaction between individuals' cultural identity and their endorsement of integration as related to self-esteem level. However, participants did endorse integration significantly more than assimilation or separation overall. Observed ethnic differences included higher levels of self-esteem and cultural identity for Hispanics when compared to Caucasians and Asians. Results indicate that ethnicity does play a role in cultural identity and self-esteem, and that minorities in general are able to maintain high self-esteem levels even in the face of racism in our society.