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Factors influencing ethnic identity development

1 January 2016


Ethnic identity development is a complex process that is influenced by many factors and experiences. With the growing population of ethnic minorities, it is projected that they may represent a majority by the year 2060 (APA, 2015). The rapid increase in ethnic minorities in the population highlights the importance of understanding the development of ethnic identity so that clinicians can work more effectively with ethnic minorities. Many researchers have identified individual factors that contributes to ethnic identity development, but few have examined parenting style and the relative contribution of the factors to ethnic identity development. The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the effects of the following factors on ethnic identity development of graduate students enrolled in graduate psychology programs in the United States: (a) familial cultural socialization, (b) authoritative parenting style, (c) ethnic in-group peer interaction, and (d) experiences of discrimination. The results suggested that familial cultural socialization, ethnic peer interaction, and experiences of discrimination significantly influence ethnic identity development. Familial cultural socialization was found to be the most significant contributor to the development of ethnic identity over the other factors. The implications of this research are discussed.


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