Bicultural straddling: A concept analysis

BACKGROUND: Increasing population diversity in the United States creates challenges for providing culturally responsive health care to immigrant adolescents. Nursing providers have few effective concepts to guide their understanding of how culturally diverse adolescents handle different cultural influences (between family and society) and how straddling two cultures may influence adolescents' decision making about health.

AIM: Bicultural straddling is defined as an ongoing process of adaptation resulting from living within two different cultural influences. A concept analysis of bicultural straddling is important to nursing professionals in caring for culturally diverse adolescents.

METHOD: Walker and Avant's methodology was used to guide our understanding about how immigrant adolescents straddle cultural influences between their homes and society.

RESULTS: Straddling two different cultures influences adolescents' health-related beliefs, attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors as they navigate everyday struggles to make informed health decisions. Adolescents' ability to achieve active straddling will allow them to experience positive social functioning, psychological development, and health outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS: By understanding the ongoing process of "bicultural straddling" as a balancing act, nurse professionals can develop effective interventions to alleviate stress derived from acculturation among immigrant families and ultimately help adolescents achieve biculturalism.