Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Many cross-cultural researchers postulate that cultural orientation and competence have a profound impact on the thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and behaviors of all people and of cultural/racial/ethnic minorities in particular. Similarly, the Orthogonal Theory of Biculturalism (Oetting & Beauvais, 1990) suggests those more Bicultural minority-culture members (i.e. culturally competent in both realms) will experience greater life success, less psychopathology, and better physical health. Despite a great deal of interest and anecdotal writings, neither of these hypotheses has been conclusively demonstrated. It is my belief the largest challenge in clarifying the relationships between these constructs lies in enhancing our knowledge of the psychometric properties of the instruments used to measure them. Some research (Wilkie, 1998) suggests available measures of Biculturalism, such as the Northern Plains Biculturalism Inventory (NPB1: Alien & French, 1994), are hampered by construct and cultural validity weaknesses that limit their usefulness in significantly contributing to our increased understanding of the effects of Biculturalism on any dependent variable.

The purpose of my dissertation research was to analyze the convergent and discriminant validity of the NPBI by correlating its scores from 205 (79 male, 126 female) Native American participants with subsequent scores from another commonly-used Biculturalism measure, the American Indian Cultural Orientation Scale (AICOS) by LaFromboise and Rowe (1995), along with scores from two theoretically unrelated scales measuring eating disorder attitudes and behaviors. It was hypothesized the NPBI and AICOS scores would be highly correlated with each other (displaying convergent validity) yet orthogonal to the eating disorder scales, thereby displaying discriminant validity this effort was conducted using the Multitrait-Multimethod Correlation Matrix design proposed by Campbell and Fiske (1959). The hypothesis was supported as correlations between the NPBI and the A1COS we’re positive and significant, yet were statistically unrelated to either the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26) or the Eating Disorder Inventory-2 (ED1-2). Study limitations and suggestions for future research are also detailed.