Acculturation is a highly variable process for both the cultural groups in contact and for their individual members; it is also a complex situation for spouses and for parents and their children. Thus, no easy generalizations can be made. However, in most studies, people tend to prefer to acculturate first by integrating and then by separation. Both of these involve the maintenance, to some extent, of their heritage culture. This pattern of preference is also the most successful for couples and families, especially when spouses and parents and children agree on how to acculturate. At the same time, some evidence supports involvement with, and acquisition of competence in the larger society. However, if this is done at the expense of heritage culture loss, it can be personally maladaptive and disruptive to marital and family relationships.
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JOHN W. BERRY