Intercultural Adjustment for Cultural Competence in Shared Context: “The Company We Keep”

By Lisa Vaughn and Rebecca Phillips.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The increasing globalization of society requires greater ease in intercultural interactions. Intercultural adjustment can be challenging in public service, education and the workplace given 1) the diversity of families, including intra-familial diversity (multicultural families); 2) the recognition that our “culture” is translated through parents, family and community members; and 3) the frequency of interactions requiring personal adjustment. In particular, the workforce is becoming more diverse requiring that we adapt to ethnic, gender, and other cultural differences including inter-professional diversity. The ability to be successful and competent in intercultural situations has been attributed to personality, intelligence, and previous experiences. This paper addresses intercultural adjustment for cultural competency in shared context. Drawing on a variety of published models, we propose an approach that addresses cultural competency based on contact or “the company we keep.” Our approach accounts for the pervasive and increasing intercultural interaction globally and in everyday life and includes the three areas of intrapersonal competence, interpersonal competence and cultural competence which when combined result in intercultural adjustment.

Keywords: Intercultural Adjustment, Cultural Competency, Diversity, Globalism

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 3, Issue 11, pp.1-12. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.108MB).

Dr. Lisa Vaughn

Associate Professor, Field Service, General and Community Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA

Lisa M. Vaughn, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and in the Divisions of General & Community Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Dr. Vaughn is trained as a social psychologist and counselor with a broad base of academic teaching, research, and community work. She completed a fellowship in medical education research and an additional master’s degree in medical education. Her research focuses on socio-cultural dimensions of children’s health and well-being in immigrant and minority populations. Given a life-long interest in other cultures, she has worked with universities and communities all over the world including Guatemala, South Africa, Lithuania, Denmark, and the Dominican Republic. She is a founder of the Latino Health Collaborative of Greater Cincinnati and a member of the Initiative on Poverty, Justice and Health. Currently Dr. Vaughn is working on research studies that examine socio-cultural considerations for the health outcomes of children, health dimensions of Latina girls using community-based participatory research methodologies, the development of a parental cultural health attributions scale, and health perceptions of West African immigrant families in Cincinnati.

Dr. Rebecca Phillips

Vice President, Education and Training, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA

Rebecca Phillips, Ph.D., Vice President of Education and Training at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Associate Professor-Field Service, Division of General and Community Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati. Dr. Phillips previously served as the first Laboratory Training Officer and Director, and as Deputy Director for Human Resources at the Los Alamos (NM) National Laboratory. She was also an industrial fellow and loaned executive to Motorola University as the Director of Organizational Research and Associate Director of the Center for Knowledge Management. In January 2007, Dr. Phillips began her appointment on the American Society for Training and Development Board of Directors. Dr. Phillips has considerable experience with the analysis, design, delivery and evaluation of adult learning programs. Her research, teaching, publications, and international presentations are on career development, mentoring, performance improvement, scientific knowledge community productivity and education systems structure for alignment with organization objectives.


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