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.
- Emotional adjustment
- Ethnic identity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science