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DOCUMENT RESUMEED 298 224AUTHORTITLESPONS AGENCYUD 026 358Phinney, Jean S.The Development of Ethnic Identity in Adolescents.National Institutes of Health (DHHS), Bethesda,Md.PUB DATEGRANTNOTEPUB TYPEEDRS PRICEDESCRIPTORSJun 88NIH-MBRS-RP-0810126p.; Paper presented at the Utah State UniversityWorkshop on Identity Formation: Theoretical andEmpirical Issues (Logan, UT, June 1988).Speeches/Conference Papers (150)ReportsResearch /Technical (143)MF01/PCO2 Plus Postage.Asian Americans; Black Students; College Students;Ethnic Groups; Ethnicity; Higher Education;Individual Development; Mexican Americans; MinorityGroups; Personality Measures; Personality Studies;Personality Theories; 3E Racial Differences; *RacialIdentification; Self Concept; Self Esteem; MhiteStudents; mYoung AdultsABSTRACTThis paper presents a model and some empiricalresearch on the process of ethnic identity development beyondchildhood. Several models of ethnic identity development amongminorities share with Erikson the idea that an achieved identity isthe result of an identity crisis, which involves a period ofsearching that leads to a commitment. In order to achieve a secureethnic identity, minority adolescents must explore the meaning ofbeing a minority in a predominantly white society. The paperdeveloped a measure fnr assessing ethnic identity development basedon the two components of the identity process, search and commitment,that could be used across ethnic groups. A questionnaire wasadministered to 300 undergraduates at an ethnically diverse urbancollege 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 racesubjects may experience higher levels of identity conflict; (3) mostminority students seem to have achieved or be in moratorium in thearea of ethnic identity; (4) minority students appear to have begunthe identification process at an earlier age; (5) a strongrelationship exists for minorities between ethnic identity andself-esteem; and (6) whites experience lower levels of search thanminorities, but similar levels of commitment. A list of 44 referencesis included. E3E3EXXX3E3E3E3E3 'XX3E3 XXXXX3EXX3EXX3EXX3E3EMXX3EXX3EXXXReproductions supplied by EDRS are the best that can be madeMfrom the original xxxxxxmmmmxmmxmmxmmmmmxxmmammmm

THE DEVELOPMENT OF ETHNIC IDENTITY IN ADOLESCENTS.4-ENCVCOONJean S. PhinneyCalifornia State University, Los AngelesC\IC)wABSTRACTThe goal of this paper is to present amodel and some empiricalresearch on the process of ethnic identity development beyond childhood,a topic that has been little studied. Several models of ethnic identitydevelopment among minorities of color share with Erikson (1968) the ideathat an achieved identity is the result of an identity crisis, whichinvolves a period of exploration and experimentation, leading to adecision or commitment. In order to achieve a secure ethnic identity,minority adolescents must explore the meaning of being a minority in 'apredominantly White society. Evidence is presented in how this isaccomplished, leading to acceptance of both one's own and other ethnicgroups."PERMISSION TO REPRODUCE THISMATERIAL HAS BEEN GRANTED BYS. PhlOrleyJarCOL! f. Stale Uril (I.TO THE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCESINFORMATION CENTER (ERIC)."U. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION(Ace of Educational Research and ImprovementEDUCATIONAL RESOURCES INFORMATIONCENTER (ERIC)(Xisdocument hag been reproduced asreceived from the person or organdatonouginatin) d0 Wm: changes have been made W improvereproduction quatdy2Points of view or opinions statedin this document do not necessanty represent offictalOERI position or policy

THE DEVELOPMENT OF ETHNIC IDENTITY IN ADOLESCENTSJean S. PhinneyCalifornia State University, Los AngelesThe focus of identity research derived from the theoreticalstatements of Erikson (1968) and the empirical work of Marcia (1966) hasbeen on the areas of occupation, ideology, sex roles, andmore recently,interpersonal domains (Waterman, 1985; Bennion & Adams, 1986).However,identity development is not entirely an individual process; the cultureinto which a person is born plays an important role in the thedevelopment of one's identity. The process of identity development islocated "in the core of the individual and yet also in the core of hiscommunal culture" (Erikson, 1968, p.22; italics in the original).Furthermore, "true identity depends on the support which the youngreceive from the collective sense of identity which social grolps assignto [them]: [their] class, [their] nationality, [their] culture" (Erikson,1964, p. 93). There is evidence that Erikson himself struggled with hisown cultural identity, as a Dane growing up in Germany with a Jewishstep-father and later emigrating to the United States (1970). But he didnot develop in any detail the process by which one's culture or ethnicityis incorporated into one's personal identity, and there has been3 Paper presented at the Utah State University Workshop on IdentityFormation: Theoretical and Empirical Issues. Logan, Utah, June, 1988.This research was supported in part by MBRS Grant #RP-08101 from theNational Institutes of Health. Correspondence should be addressed to theauthor at the Department of Psychology, California State Universit-,, LosAngeles, CA 90032.1

relatively little research on the development of ethnic identity inadolescence or adulthood.The role of group identity, particularly for minority group members,has been studied primarily by sociologists and social psychologists. KurtLewin (1948) stated that minority individuals need to feel an affinitywith their group in order to develop a sense of well-being and to reduceself-hatred. Numerous writings by representatives of minority groupsreiterate this point (e.g., Arce, 1981; Green, 1981; Gurin & Epps, 1975;Jarvenpa, 1985). "Ethnic self-identity is.central to the development ofthe personal identity of minority group members" (Maldonado, 1975; p.621).This acknowledged concern has resulted in a number of studies ofethnic identity. Four research traditions can be distinguished. Threeareas of research are presented briefly below to clarify the issuesinvolved, but will not be addressed in depth in this paper. The fourth,dealing with development of ethnic identity beyond childhood, is thefocus of this paper.1. A large number of studies involve attempts to define and measureethnic identity for a particular group and examine its antecedents andcorrelates. Typically, researchers have developed a list of items tappingattitudes, behaviors, and cognitions relevant to a particular ethnicgroup and then used the measure to study ethnic identity in individualsfrom that group. These studies have focussed almost exclusively on onegroup, using measures developed for that group alone, thus permitting nogeneralization about ethnic identity across different populations.(Phinney, 1988).4

2. A second group of studies of ethnic identity have examined theways in which ethnic minority groups adapt to a dominant culture. In muchof this research, ethnic identity is conceptualized as an aspect ofacculturation (Berry, 1980). In this research, an individual's attitudesand behaviors are assessed with reference to both a minority ethnic groupand a mainstream culture (e.g., Hutnik, 1986). Using an orthogonal model,in which individuals can be high or low on measures of identificationwith their ethnic culture and with the mainstream culture, at least fourpossible outcomes can be identified (Berry, 1980). Individuals may becomeassimilated, losing their own ethnic culture and adapting completely tothe mainstream; they may become integrated, maintaining their own culturebut adapting equally to the mainstream ("pluralism"); they may remainembedded in their own culture, in barrios or ghettos, without adapting tothe mainstream; or they may lose their own culture, without becoming partof the mainstream ("marginal man"; Stonequist, 1935).In the two types of research discussed above, ethnic identity isstudied as it exists at a particular moment in timewith littlerecognition of developmental or historical change. That isthe focus hasbeen on the content of ethnic identity (attitudes and behaviors specificto a particular group), with little consideration of the process ofethnic identity formation (the way in which the individuals develop anunderstanding ofand attitudes about, their ethnicity).3. A group of studies has been concerned with young children'slearning of their own ethnic label, particularly with the phenomenon ofincorrect self-labeling by Black and other minority children. This aspectof ethnic identity is more properly called ethnic self-identification.35

The research in this area has recently been reviewed in detail by Aboud(1987), and will not be discussed here.The focus of this paper is on the process of ethnic identitydevelopment beyond childhood, a topic that has been little studied. Byage of 7 or B, most children know their ethnic label (Aboud, 1987).However, with the onset of adolescence, they are faced with a number ofchanges that force them to reexamine the meaning of their ethnic groupmembership. Increased cognitive abilities, increased interactions outsidetheir own community, greater concern with appearance and dating, andthoughts about their future in terms of job prospects and marriage areall likely to make ethnicity more salient. The ethnic identity issue foradolescents becomes one of integrating their group membership as part oftheir identity, and thus achieving the sense of wholeness that Erikson(1968) describes.MODELS OF ETHNIC IDENTITY DEVELOPMENT.Several empirical studies or conceptual models have attempted todescribe ethnic identity development in adolescents or adults. Cross(1978) developed a model of the development of Black consciousness incollege students during the Civil Rights era, and Parham and Helms (1981,1985a, 1985b) have conducted a series of studies using Cross' model. Kim(1981) developed a model of Asian-American identity development based oninterviews with Asian-American young adult females. A model based onclinical experience has been proposed by Atkinson, Morton & Sue (1983),and Arce (1981) has conceptualized the issues with regard to Chicanos.46

These writings all deal only with minorities of color. Although therehave been some studies of the content of ethnic identity in White ethnicgroups, such research has not addressed identity development in thesegroups.These conceptualizations of ethnic identity development amongminorities of color share with Erikson (1968) the idea that an achievedidentity is the result of an identity crisis, which involves a period ofexploration and experimentation, leading to a decision or commitment.Marcia's (1966) empirical work based on Erikson's theory suggests fouridentity statuses related to the extent of exploration and commitment. An1individual who has neither engaged in exploration nor made a commitmentis said to be diffuse; a commitment made without exploration, usually onthe basis of parental values, represents a foreclosed status. Anindividual in the process of exploration without having made a commitmentis in moratorium; a firm commitment following a period of exploration isindicative of an achieved identity. Waterman (1982) has presentedpossibhe developmental pathways by which individuals may progress from adiffuse or foreclosed status through a moratorium to an achievedidentity. A comparison of these statuses and pathways to the stages ofethnic identity development as described by minority writers suggestsmany parallels, along with some important differences. A description ofethnic identity development is presented below, with substantialquotation from minority writers, to convey the flavor of their writings.Preencounter/ConformityExisting models of ethnic identity development suggest that minority57

subjects begin with an acceptance of the values and attitudes of themajority culture, including, often, internalized negative views of theirown group that are held by the majority. In this first stage, "theperson's world view is dominated by Euro-American determinants" (Cross,1978; p. 17). Parham and Helms's (1985) measure of Black identitydevelopment, which builds on Cross' work, includes items for this stagesuch as "I believe that the white man is superior intellectually," and"Sometimes I wish I belonged to the White race." Similarly, themodelsuggested by Atkinson, Morton, & Sue (1979) describes a Conformity Stage,in which individuals show an "unequivocal preference fo,- dominantcultural values over those of their own culture.Individuals whoacknowledge their distinguishing physical and/or cultural characteristicsconsciously view them as a source of shame" (pp. 35-36).Kim's(1981) data, based on in-depth interviews with adult Asian-American women, gives ample support to this view. She identifies aninitial stage in which "subjects . internalized the White societalvalues and standards and saw themselves through the eyes of the Whitesociety" (p. 129). She notes two types of what she calls Whiteidentification, active and passive. "In active identification, subjectsconsidered themselves as being very similar to their White peers.Apparent differences between themselves and Whites were not acknowledged,at least not on the conscious level. They saw themselves as White andacted as if they were. They also did not want to be seen as Asian in anyway" (p. 133). "In passive White identification, subjects did notconsider themselves to be White. They may have experienced periods ofwishful thinking and fantasizing about looking like White people. They68

did, however, share in common with

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 fnr 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 .