Acculturation: a process in which cultural change results from contact between two autonomous and independent cultural groups (Berry, 1998). This process usually entails interactions between dominant and non-dominant groups, and is commonly characterized by non-dominant groups taking on the language, laws, religions, norms, and behaviors of the dominant group (Castro, Coe, Gutierres & Saenz, 1996). The end point for acculturation adaptations has to do with two criteria – whether or not the acculturating individual or group retains cultural identity and whether or not a positive relationship to the dominant society is established (Berry, 1998).
Assimilation: individuals losing culture of origin identity in order to identify with the dominant (host) cultural group
Enculturation: also referred to as ethnic identity or culture-of-origin identity, denotes the individual’s feelings about and investment in their native culture
Biculturalism: retaining one’s cultural identity and establishing a positive relationship with the dominant culture; the ability to successfully navigate between two cultural systems
Familism: a deeply ingrained sense of being rooted in the family. The term refers to “attitudes, behaviors, and family structures within an extended family system and is believed to be the most important factor influencing the lives of Latinos” (Cooley, 2001, p.130).