Having higher levels of mainstream cultural orientation (MCO), an important component of acculturation attitudes and behaviors, is beneficial for ethnic/racial minority students during the transitions into university. Scant research has investigated MCO at a micro daily timescale. This study examined how personality (agreeableness) functions in conjunction with interpersonal processes (inter-ethnic contact and perceived discrimination) to influence MCO as daily within-person processes.
Multi-level structural equation modeling were used to analyze month-long daily diary data from 209 ethnic/racial minority freshmen (69% female).
There was a positive indirect association between agreeableness and MCO through inter-ethnic contact at both within- and between-person levels. At the within-person level, on days with lower (vs. higher) levels of ethnic/racial discrimination, higher levels of agreeableness were associated with higher levels of MCO.
These findings highlight the contributions of intensive longitudinal data in elucidating ethnic/racial minority students’ personality and acculturation processes in daily life involving protective and risk factors on micro timescales.