The Role of Family and Community Bicultural Socialization in Bilingual Proficiency among Young Immigrant Adults

Previous research on acculturation has emphasized that immigrants who integrate two cultures and use both their heritage language (HL) and English fluently tend to have better mental health and subjective well-being, comparing to those who have non-integration acculturation attitudes. Parents, schools, and peers have been evinced that each play an essential role in support for bilingual proficiency; however, the majority of research has focused on family socialization for HL acquisition and schools’ role in English acquisition. This study adopted of a bidimensional approach to examine the impact of both family socialization and communities bilingual proficiency among young immigrants. We hypothesized that families and communities not only socialize ethnic practices and influence young adults’ HL proficiency, but also help them to promote English proficiency simultaneously. In this process, bicultural competence could play a mediation role between family and community ethnic socialization and heritage language proficiency. Participants included 302 college students from immigrant families ranging in age from 18 to 25 who completed an online survey. Correlation, hierarchical regression, and mediation analyses partially confirmed hypotheses and found that both family and community are significant predictors of heritage language proficiency, meanwhile, English proficiency can be predicted by family U.S-culture socialization, but not community. Limitations and implications were discussed.