Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name





bicultural stress, biculturalism, canadian, microaggression, thematic analysis, visible minority


Kathryn Lafreniere




Bicultural stress is the unique stress which occurs when a bicultural individual tries to navigate between two different cultures, namely their heritage culture and mainstream culture. This study investigated bicultural stress using Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) ecological systems model. This study posits that family, peers, community, and media interact to influence feelings of bicultural stress. A sample of 147 undergraduate visible minority Canadians at the University of Windsor was recruited for this study. They completed an online survey comprising standardized self-report measures and open-ended questions. Results were analyzed using statistical analyses and a thematic analysis. Findings from this study provided a detailed and complex illustration of the bicultural experience. It was found that second-generation Canadians experienced more bicultural stress compared to their third-generation peers. Also, regression analysis indicated that ethnic identity, family cultural socialization towards heritage culture, perceived discrimination, and generational status contributed to feelings of bicultural stress. Results from the thematic analysis indicated that bicultural Canadians have a shared bicultural experience. Participants described when they first realized their bicultural identity, and their responses revealed the different ways they used to navigate their bicultural identity. Lastly, this study investigated the effects of first name on bicultural stress. Participants revealed their experiences of name-based microaggression and the solutions they developed to make things easier for other people. Findings from this study revealed personal and intimate experiences with which bicultural Canadians have struggled in different social environments of their lives. This study can open avenues of research on microaggressions experienced by bicultural Canadians in school and workplace settings.