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Acculturation as a process, during which cultural identity is challenged, plays an important role in the psychological wellbeing of minority ethnic groups. This paper introduces the Asian Cultural Identity Schedule, and demonstrates its use in an investigation of acculturation and deliberate self-harm. The Asian Cultural Identity Schedule (ACIS) consists of 106 questions, from which 12 scores represent acculturation on specific domains. The schedule was used as an interview in two research studies of deliberate self-harm among Asian adolescents and Asian women. Asian adolescents (N = 22), their parents (N - 22) and a sample of Asian women (N = 54) were interviewed. A half of the subjects in each of these three groups were cases; the rest were controls. The acculturation items are compared among each of three groups of cases and controls, and then between subgroups. The results showed that adolescents were less traditional than their parents on the following items: language, leisure, decision making, food shopping and living with a white person. In the absence of any discordance among control group adolescents and their parents, there are less traditional attitudes to work and marriage held by adolescents who attempted deliberate self-harm in comparison to their parents. Adolescents who attempt deliberate self-harm show as untraditional aspirations as their parents, and as control group adolescents. The parents of control group adolescents are more traditional, reflecting a protective effective of traditionalism. Women who attempted deliberate self-harm show less traditional attitudes to social contact and aspirations than control women. In comparison with control parents, women who attempt self-harm have less traditional attitudes to food shopping, work and living with a white person, whilst showing more traditional attitudes to religion. It may be concluded that acculturation on specific domains is associated with deliberate self-harm.

Original publication




Journal article


International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research

Publication Date





212 - 218