Ethnic identity and psychological adjustment: A validity analysis for European American and African American adolescents

Miwa Yasui, Carole La Rue Dorham, Thomas J. Dishion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

74 Scopus citations

Abstract

This research studied the role of ethnic identity as a protective factor among European American (n = 77) and African American fn = 82) adolescents identified either as high risk or successful. Adolescents participated in a multiagent, multimethod assessment of depression, internalizing and externalizing behaviors, competence, and academic achievement. The levels of ethnic identity were the same across ethnic groups but were higher among successful adolescents. Bivariate correlations revealed that ethnic identity was significantly associated with all measures of adjustment in the expected directions. Predicted validities were statistically higher among African American youth than for European Americans on depression, total competence, and GPA. Similar associations were found when comparing ethnic identity to a construct of socioeconomic disadvantage. Findings suggest that ethnic identity is central to the self-system and motivation for youth who develop in contexts that potentially undermine children's socioemotional adjustment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)807-825
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Adolescent Research
Volume19
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2004

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Emotional adjustment
  • Ethnic identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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