Intercultural abilities and identity development Chen and Starosta (1996) describe the ability to engage in culturally functional and appropriate behaviours as cultural adroitness or intercultural effectiveness. A wide range of abilities that support intercultural effectiveness have been identified, including the abilities to negotiate and protect the cultural identities of self and others, maintain flexibility, communicate competently across cultures, manage intercultural interactions and cultivate intercultural relationships (Chen, 2007; Imahori & Cupach, 2005; Portalla & Chen, 2010; Spitzberg, 2000). Beyond intercultural effectiveness, these abilities have also been discussed in terms of related and overlapping constructs such as intercultural competence (e.g. Leung, Ang, & Tan, 2014), cultural intelligence (e.g. Ang et al., 2007) and sociocultural adaptation (e.g. Wilson, Ward, Fetvadjiev, & Bethel, 2017). Despite the multiple approaches to defining and assessing intercultural abilities, research findings converge to show that those with greater abilities have better social relationships (e.g. quantity and quality of social contact; Ward & Kennedy, 1993; Zlobina, Basabe, Paez, & Furnham, 2006), report higher levels of psychological wellbeing (Ang et al., 2007; van Oudenhoven, Mol, & Van der Zee, 2003), are more successful in their jobs and find it easier to adjust to new work environments (Lee & Sukoco, 2010; van Oudenhoven et al., 2003). It is, however, far less understood what role culture-specific abilities play in integrating multicultural identities. For example, Lee’s (2010) study with expatriates examined the relationship between intercultural abilities and identification with the heritage and host cultures. Those reporting strong identification with both cultures had higher levels of intercultural effectiveness (measured as cultural appropriateness and communication effectiveness) than their peers who identified with only one or neither culture. Similarly, Thomas, Brannen, and Garcia (2010) found that bicultural university students scored significantly higher on cultural metacognition (i.e. awareness of and reflective thinking about cultural knowledge and interactions) than monoculturals. Benet-Martínez and Haritatos’s (2005) study with Chinese Americans also concluded that “individuals who report having overlapping or hyphenated cultural identities are more likely to participate in both cultures effectively” (p. 1033). While there is some empirical evidence linking intercultural abilities to bicultural engagement and identity integration, the direction of the relationship is unclear. Bicultural individuals might develop better intercultural abilities and display greater cultural adroitness because of their familiarity with and knowledge of multiple cultures (Lee, 2010; Thomas et al., 2010). This would suggest that both the hybrid and alternating identity styles are predictive of greater intercultural effectiveness over time, as they represent efforts to integrate two or more cultural identities by either combining cultural elements in a unique way or by emphasising them depending on situational demands. Although research to date has linked the alternating style to negative psychological outcomes, alternation and situated identities have been theorised to have potential benefits by enabling individuals to behave in accordance with cultural norms (LaFromboise, Coleman, & Gerton, 1993; Noels & Clément, 2015), and, therefore, could be predictive of greater intercultural effectiveness.