A multimodal measure of cultural intelligence for adolescents growing up in culturally diverse societies

Miriam Schwarzenthal, Linda P. Juang, Maja K. Schachner, Fons J.r. Van De Vijver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Adolescents growing up in culturally diverse societies need to develop intercultural competence. To better understand how to develop intercultural competence we need measures specifically relating to the everyday intercultural experiences of adolescents. However, few measures of intercultural competence are available for this target group. Based on the cultural intelligence (CQ) model (Earley & Ang, 2003), we developed a measure that combines a self-report questionnaire and situational judgment tests (SJTs). The latter comprise a brief description of intercultural situations, followed by questions asking the adolescents to interpret and provide a reaction to the situations.

The reliability, factor structure, measurement equivalence, and validity of the new measure was tested in two samples of adolescents in culturally diverse regions in North Rhine-Westphalia (N = 631, 48% female, Mage = 13.69 years, SDage = 1.83) and Berlin (N = 1,335, 48% female, Mage = 14.69 years, SDage = 0.74) in Germany. The self-report CQ scale showed good reliability and a four-dimensional factor structure with a higher-order CQ factor. The responses to the SJTs were coded based on a coding manual and the ratings loaded onto one factor. The measurement models showed metric to scalar measurement equivalence across immigrant background, gender, and grade. The CQ factor and the SJT factor were positively correlated with each other, as well as with related constructs such as openness, perspective-taking, and diversity beliefs.

We conclude that the new measure offers a reliable and valid method to assess the intercultural competence of adolescents growing up in culturally diverse societies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-121
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2019


  • Cultural intelligence
  • Intercultural competence
  • Adolescents


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