Disparate Cultural Values and Modes of Conflict Resolution in Peer Relations: The Experience of Latino First-Generation College Students

Rocio Burgos-Cienfuegos, Yolanda Vasquez-Salgado, Nidia Ruedas-Gracia, Patricia M. Greenfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We explored whether Latino first-generation college students would experience cross-cultural value conflicts as a result of the mismatch between more collectivistic values learned at home and more individualistic practices of their peers in a multiethnic college setting. Culturally structured conflict resolution styles were also explored. Participants completed a survey and thereafter engaged in a structured group discussion. Group discussions indicated that 57% of students experienced cross-cultural peer-peer value conflicts in which they had a more collectivistic approach to peer relations, while their roommates had a more individualistic approach. More positive peer relationships resulted from confrontational styles of conflict resolution (a facet of individualistic culture) than from implicit forms of communication (a facet of collectivistic culture). Peer-peer interactions are important because, upon transitioning to college, Latino students are exposed to diverse cultures that can impact their social life in higher education and therefore their college adjustment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-397
Number of pages33
JournalHispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 28 2015
Externally publishedYes



  • collectivism
  • conflict resolution
  • cultural values
  • first-generation college students
  • individualism
  • Latinos
  • peer relations
  • value conflict

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language

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