Ethnic Identity Formation During Adolescence: The Critical Role of Families


Umana-Taylor, A. J., Bhanot, R., & Shin, N. (2006). Ethnic identity formation during adolescence: The critical role of families. Journal of Family Issues, 27(3), 390-414.


An ecological model of ethnic identity was examined among 639 adolescents of Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Vietnamese, and Salvadoran descent. Using structural equation modeling and, specifically, multiple group comparisons, findings indicated that familial ethnic socialization (FES) played a significant role in the process of ethnic identity formation for all adolescents, regardless of ethnic background. Specifically, adolescents’ reports of FES were significantly and positively associated with their reports of exploration, commitment, and affirmation and belonging toward their ethnic background. These results are consistent with empirical work that has found familial social- ization to be a central component of ethnic identity formation among children, and with theoretical work on adolescents, which has emphasized the important role of families in the process ethnic identity formation.

Read more from SRI