Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Joseph R. Morris, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Mary Z. Anderson, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales, Ph.D.


Colonial mentality, enculturation, ethnic identity, Filipino American, Filipino American ethnic identity, generation status


Filipino Americans’ psychological experiences pertaining to their generation status, ethnic identity, enculturation, and colonial mentality are rarely studied in counseling psychology due to inconsistent disaggregation of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AA&PI) data (Agbayani-Siewert, 2004; Espiritu, 2003; Nadal et al., 2010; Okamura, 2013). Literature suggests that the study of these constructs related to their mental health can guide more culturally informed care for this historically excluded population (David & Nadal, 2013; Nadal, 2020). The current study used an exploratory design to test six research hypotheses and accomplish the following: examine relationships between the constructs, investigate intergenerational differences, validate a measure of ethnic identity on a Filipino American population, and expand on cross-disciplinary counseling psychology research of Filipino Americans.

Five hundred and ninety-two individuals, who identified as Filipino American, between the ages of 18-83, and currently living in the United States engaged with this study after recruiting from email lists and social media pages of Filipino American-run and/or serving organizations. This sample was split into two subsamples to examine generational differences in ethnic identity, enculturation, and colonial mentality and to examine relationships between these constructs. The instruments used in this study were the Enculturation Scale for Filipino Americans–Short Form (ESFA-S; del Prado & Church, 2010), Colonial Mentality Scale (CMS; David & Okazaki, 2006), Ethnic Identity Scale (EIS; Umaña-Taylor et al., 2004), and a demographic questionnaire. Primary analyses were conducted via multivariate analysis of variance tests (MANOVA) and canonical correlation analyses.

Results suggested that there are intergenerational differences in ethnic identity Resolution, and Connection with Homeland, and Interpersonal Norms. Intergenerational differences in colonial mentality were not detected and were explained by the possible use of colonial mentality as an adaptive strategy. Three different canonical correlations between the subscale scores for ESFA-S, CMS, and EIS measures yielded 4 interpretable functions explaining relations between subscales from the three measures: Pagmamahal sa Sarili at Kapwa (Love of Self & Kapwa/Interdependence), Pagkakasundo sa Kultura at Sarili (Cultural and Self Harmony), Rebolusionaryong Kaisipan (Revolutionary Thinking), and Nahahati sa Kamalayan (Divided Consciousness). These functions explained at least 40%, 14%, 26.3%, and 23.5% of variance within the sample, respectively. Additional functions, such as Yaman sa Kulturang Pilipino (Filipino Cultural Wealth), Pakikisama Concerns (Interpersonal Harmony Concerns), and Paglalakad sa Sakit (Walking through the Pain), each explained less than 10% of the variance within the sample and were presented to expand nuanced discussions on Filipino American psychological research.

Overall, the current study provided support for relationship(s) between ethnic identity, enculturation, and colonial mentality in Filipino Americans and confirmed literature findings on intergenerational differences in ethnic identity. The study’s main accomplishments include validation of the EIS on a predominantly second generation Filipino American sample and strengthened construct validity of the CMS and ESFA-S.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access