Self-esteem, academic adjustment, and acculturation among Haitian students at Kingsborough Community College CUNY

Vera Wilcher Mattingly, Fordham University


The study was designed to determine the relationships between acculturation, academic adjustment, and self-esteem of Haitian students at Kingsborough Community College (KCC) of the City University of New York, Brooklyn, New York. These variables were measured by response to questionnaire items administered to a sample population of students. Among the statistical procedures used to measure the relationship between the variables were t tests of significance, standard deviations, multivariate analysis, multiple regression analysis, zero-order Pearson correlations, and canonical correlation analysis. The sample population was comprised of 104 students of Haitian descent at Kingsborough Community College. The students in the sample demonstrated substantial variability in language use, tending to use Creole/French in intimate situations and English in formal situations. They were bicultural with respect to cultural preference and ethnic interactions. They indicated a desire to become involved in American society while preserving the Creole language and Haitian traditions. Significant relationships were found between biculturality and students' social motivation, vocational maturity, and grade point average. Acculturative orientation was related significantly to self-esteem and grade point average. In addition, self-esteem was related to ease of transition to college life, academic motivation, social motivation, and receptivity to student support services. Self-esteem was not related significantly to grade point average. The students in the sample generally expressed high levels of self-esteem. The findings were interpreted as indicating that Haitian students at KCC were more bicultural than was expected on the basis of prior research on Haitian immigrants in the United States. It was recommended that the acculturation and adjustment of noncollege Haitian youth in the New York area be studied.

Subject Area

Minority & ethnic groups|Sociology|Higher education|Community colleges|Bilingual education|Multicultural education

Recommended Citation

Mattingly, Vera Wilcher, "Self-esteem, academic adjustment, and acculturation among Haitian students at Kingsborough Community College CUNY" (1990). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9109264.