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The effect of immigration, acculturation and multicompetence on personality profiles of Israeli multilinguals

Dewaele, Jean-Marc and Stavans, A (2014) The effect of immigration, acculturation and multicompetence on personality profiles of Israeli multilinguals. International Journal of Bilingualism 18 (3), pp. 203-221. ISSN 1367-0069.

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The present study investigates the link between multilingualism/multiculturalism, acculturation and the personality profile (as measured by the Multicultural Personality Questionnaire) of 77 young multilingual Israeli teenagers (34 females, 42 males). Statistical analyses revealed that veteran Israeli teenagers scored higher on Emotional Stability than immigrant teenagers with different nationality provenance. Language dominance had a significant effect on the participants’ scores on Emotional Stability; with participants having become dominant in Hebrew as a foreign language (LX) scoring lower than L1-dominant participants. The number of languages known by participants was not linked to their personality profile. A high level of use of various languages was linked to significantly higher scores on Cultural Empathy and Openmindedness. Gender was also found to have a significant effect on personality profiles and was linked to the knowledge of more languages. These findings confirm that some personality traits are shaped by a variety of social and biographical factors. Acculturation is stressful resulting in lower levels of Emotional Stability. While the mere knowledge of more languages did not affect personality profiles, the frequent use of more languages strengthened Cultural Empathy and Openmindedness.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): multilingualism, multiculturalism, acculturation, personality, multicompetence
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Applied Linguistics and Communication
Depositing User: Jean Marc Dewaele
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2012 09:43
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2015 10:05

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