Immigration is a global phenomenon that involves major changes in immigrants’ and future generations’ lives. In relation to second/third generation immigrant children who often grow up in a bilingual context, the importance of maintaining a first language (L1) is important for the development of a coherent ethnic identity (Tseng & Fuligni, 2000). Early linguistic and communicative development have been found to be affected by the infant’s attachment relationship with their primary caregiver (Costantini et al., 2011), linking attachment security to language development, however only little has been done to understand how attachment style interact with language use and social identity amongst immigrants. Out of this context, this study examined the relationship between attachment style, mother tongue (L1) and dominant language (DL) proficiency, sociocultural identification with the culture of origin, and life satisfaction amongst second-generation and third-generation South Asian immigrants in Hong Kong. A total of 97 participants, 69 females and 28 males with a mean age of 29.33 years participated in the study and fulfilled the inclusion criteria. 84.5% of the total sample were of Indian ethnicity, 9.30% of Pakistani ethnicity and 6.20% of Nepalese ethnicity. Punjabi (51.5%) was the most frequent first language, followed by Hindi (14.4%), English (12.4%), Nepali (5.20%), Sindhi (5.20%), Urdu (5.20%), Tamil (1.00%), and other (5.20%). The results confirmed the research hypotheses indicating that attachment style was significantly associated with L1 and DL use and proficiency in second and third generation South Asian immigrants in Hong Kong, as well as their sense of sociocultural identify and life satisfaction. The discussion evaluates these findings in regards to previous literature on the relationship between language development, attachment style and acculturation process in immigrant populations. Implications for future research also acknowledge the need for cultural-sensitive conceptualisations of attachment theory to better transmission of attachment style and language development.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jul 2021|
|Event||British Psychological Society Annual Conference - |
Duration: 1 Jul 2021 → 2 Jul 2021
|Conference||British Psychological Society Annual Conference|
|Period||1/07/21 → 2/07/21|