This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Chinese American Adolescents' Self-Perceived Identities and Their Language Behaviors




Zhu, Linxiang

Type of Degree



Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


The purpose of this study was to determine the relationships between self-perceived identities of Chinese American adolescents and their language behaviors. The self-perceived identities were measured by the Chinese American Self-Perceived Identity Scale (CASPIC) by Linxiang Zhu (2009) and language behaviors were measured by the Chinese American Adolescents’ Language Behavior Scale (CAALBS) by Linxiang Zhu (2009). The items in the CASPIC were designed to assess to what extent does context and age affect the self-perceived identities of Chinese American adolescents, thereby providing a profile of that Chinese American adolescent’s self-perceived identities and illustrating the impacts of context and age on these identities. The CAALBS was designed to measure Chinese American adolescents’ language behaviors in different language environments. Two hundred and fifty-seven Chinese American children and adolescents completed the survey questionnaires. Two hundred and twenty-four were selected for this study. Structural Equation Modeling was used to test and validate the CAALBS instrument. Hierarchical regression analysis identified several predictors of Chinese heritage language behaviors, such as immediate family speaking language, extended family speaking language, peer speaking language, Chinese teacher speaking language, age, age of arrival, gender, and self-perceived identity. There is a great need for empirical studies that address fundamental theory-building questions regarding HL learner characteristics, HL-associated individual and contextual factors, and the effect of home background on HL learning. This study, an examination of the linkage between self-perceived identities of Chinese heritage language (CHL) learners and their language behaviors, extends that literature for the fundamental CHL theory building.