The status model of racial identity development in African American adolescents: Evidence of structure, trajectories, and well-being

Eleanor K. Seaton, Krista Maywalt Scottham, Robert M. Sellers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

83 Scopus citations


Although the identity formation model is widely used to assess adolescent ethnic identity development, the model propositions have rarely been tested. The existence of the identity statuses (diffuse, foreclosed, moratorium, achieved), the proposed developmental trajectories, and whether youth in the achieved status report higher levels of psychological well-being were examined among a longitudinal sample of 224 African American adolescents, aged 11-17. Cluster analyses were used to create 4 identity statuses consistent with the theoretical model at both time points. The findings indicate that some adolescents progressed, while others regressed or remained constant across time periods. Lastly, the results generally support the assumption that individuals in the achieved status had the highest levels of psychological well-being at both time periods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1416-1426
Number of pages11
JournalChild development
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2006


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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