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REPORTRESEARCHCoping with Culture-Based Conflict:Implications for Counseling Research andPracticeEDWARD DUNBAR, ED.DJOYCE F. LlUUniversity of California at Los Angeles, National Research Centeron Asian Amnican Mental HealthANN-MARIE HORVATH, M.A.University of Hawaii at ManoaInterpersonal conflict related to socioG1lllural group membe7;ship was examinedwith a mulliG1lllural university sample. The Social Group Conflict Scale(SGCS), collective self-esteem (CSE), and Bradburn affect scale were adminis-tered to 248 university students. The G1lTTent study attempted to replicate andextend the findings on social group-based conflict recently proposed by Dun-bal; Sue, and Liu. Results indicated that 51 % of the subjects reported en-countering interpersonal conflict attributable to their social groupmembe7;shiPs, with ethnicity being the most frequently attributed group catego-ry. Signijicant gender and ethnic differences were noted in coping approachemployed in responding to the conflict event. The G1lTTent findings are consid-ered in regard to effectively assessing and responding to interG1lllural conflictfor mental health practice. iC) 1995 John Wil4J &' Sons, Inc..G1llture-based conflict. ethnic group membershipSocial and culture-based conflict is a veryserious and pervasive problem found in con-temporary university settings (Carter, 1991).This problem has received a great deal ofattention in the study of university life in the1980s and 1990s (Astin, Trevino, & Wingard,1991). For researchers and counseling prac-.Reprint requests should be directed to Edward Dunba1; Ed.D., Department of Psychology,University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90024.Cultural Diversity and Mental Health, Vol. 1, No.2, 139-148 (1995)~ 1995 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.CCC 1 077-341 X/95/020139-1 0titioners, this issue poses unique challengesconccrning how to assess and effectively re-spond to the victims of stereotyping. adversebias. and hate crimes.Research has suggested that stereotypingand adverse out-group attributions are fre-quently related to social group categoriesCOPING WITH CULTUREBASED CONFLICT141received credit for participating in the cur-rent study. The materials were administeredto classes ranging in size from 20 to 80.Study subjects completed a release to partic-ipate in the current study. There were notime limits imposed in the administration.MeasuresSocial Group Conflict ScaleThe Social Group Conflict Scale (SGCS)(Dunbar et al., 1994) was administered. Thisscale consists of items which examine.a spe-cific conflict situation which the respondenthas experienced with an individual, group,or institution (the conflict domain). The re-spondent designates which social group cat-egories (race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexualorientation, and/or religious group mem-bership) served as the conflict attribute-i.e., was a causal factor of the conflict event.The SGCS included 21 items concerning theexperience of culture-based conflict (e.g., "Iwas excluded from a group activity."). Theseitems were written to reflect conflict experi-ences related to social exclusion, access toinformation and resources, and participa-tion in group-based experiences; the itemsmeasure social conflict experiences ratherthan acts of physical aggression or violence.The items used in the current study em-ployed a three-point Likert rating, indicat-ing whether a specific action occurred "aloti" "somewhat," or "did not occur." Thefive factor dimensions of culture-based con-flict identified by Dunbar et al. (1994) wereemployed in the current study. The five fac-tors included "Personal Provocation," whichwas characteristic of the affective provoca-tion of the target person (reliability alphacoefficient was .85). The second conflict fac-tor, concerning the withholding of informa-tion for personal achievement, was termed"Gatekeeping." (The internal coefficient.-al-pha was .76.) The third conflict factor, re-lated to the ignoring and marginalizing ofthe individual, was termed "Personal 1nvisi-ence of the victim, recognizing the psycho-logical characteristics which facilitate ahealthy coping response, and examininghow the frequency and severity of the con-flict experience vary among social groups.Toward this end, the following research andpractice issues were considered:1. What forms of social group-basedconflict are most frequently encoun-tered and are of greatest concern tothe target person?2. Are there notable differences for in-group social identity between personswho report experiencing social group-based conflict and those who do not?3. How does active coping in responseto social group-based conflict vary byethnic/gender groups?SampleSubjects consisted of an ethnically mixedgroup of 248 university students enrolled inpsychology courses at the University of Ha-waii at Manoa. The sample consisted of 168women and 81 men. Classification of thesubjects by race/ ethnic group category re-vealed that there were 6 African-Americans,138 Asian-Pacifics (this included 38 personsof Chinese heritage, 79 persons of Japaneseheritage, 17 persons of Filipino heritage,and 4 persons of Vietnamese heritage), 55Whites of European heritage, and 47 per-sons of mixed race heritage (including 11persons primarily of Hawaiian heritage).The median subject age was 22 years (S.D. of6.6 years) with a range of 16-62. Thirty-four(13.7%) of the subjects reported being non-U.S. born; this group reported a median of7years residing in the U.S. (S.D. of 6.5 years).ProcedureAll participants were enrolled in under-graduate psychology courses for which theyCOPING WITH CULTUREBASED CONFLICT'43enced social conflict (the "conflict" group)and those who had not (the "no-conflict"group). As reported in Table I, a significantdifference was found between the no-conflict and conflict groups for negativewell-being (t = 2.18; p < .05), but not forcollective self-esteem.The relationship of the Conflict Fre-quency and Conflict Concern ratings was ex-amined with the five Conflict Types. A 2 x 5multivariate ANOVA (MANOVA) (ConflictFrequency and Conflict Concern by ConflictType) was computed with the Conflict Fre-quency and Concern ratings employed asthe dependent variables. Results revealed asignificant multivariate effect (F 5,119 =5.29; P < .001); univariate ANOVAs for Con-flict


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