ERIC Number: ED298224
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
The Development of Ethnic Identity in Adolescents.
Phinney, Jean S.
This paper presents a model and some empirical research on the process of ethnic identity development beyond childhood. Several models of ethnic identity development among minorities share with Erikson the idea that an achieved identity is the result of an identity crisis, which involves a period of searching that leads to a commitment. In order to achieve a secure ethnic identity, minority adolescents must explore the meaning of being a minority in a predominantly white society. The paper developed a measure for assessing ethnic identity development based on the two components of the identity process, search and commitment, that could be used across ethnic groups. A questionnaire was administered to 300 undergraduates at an ethnically diverse urban college campus. Responses were analyzed from the following: (1) American-born Mexican Americans; (2) American-born Asian Americans; (3) American-born Blacks; (4) American-born Whites; and (5) foreign-born Asian students. Results include the following: (1) ethnic identity is an important issue with all groups; (2) mixed race subjects may experience higher levels of identity conflict; (3) most minority students seem to have achieved or be in moratorium in the area of ethnic identity; (4) minority students appear to have begun the identification process at an earlier age; (5) a strong relationship exists for minorities between ethnic identity and self-esteem; and (6) whites experience lower levels of search than minorities, but similar levels of commitment. A list of 44 references is included. (FMW)
Descriptors: Asian Americans, Black Students, College Students, Ethnic Groups, Ethnicity, Higher Education, Individual Development, Mexican Americans, Minority Groups, Personality Measures, Personality Studies, Personality Theories, Racial Differences, Racial Identification, Self Concept, Self Esteem, White Students, Young Adults
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health (DHHS), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Utah State University Workshop on Identity Formation: Theoretical and Empirical Issues (Logan, UT, June 1988).