U.S. Latinas/os’ Ethnic Identity: Context, Methodological Approaches, and Considerations Across the Life Span

I. David Acevedo-Polakovich, Shannon Chavez-Korell, Adriana J. Umaña-Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ethnic identity is theoretically linked to the psychological health of U.S. Latinas/os and has played a preeminent role in the limited literature focused on this group. However, research does not uniformly confirm a positive relationship between ethnic identity and psychological health among U.S. Latinas/os. Emerging work suggests that inconsistencies in the existing literature might be better understood if ethnic identity conceptualizations accounted for context and the developmental period under study. It also has been suggested that the narrow collection of methods and analytical tools used in ethnic identity research prevent a complete understanding of this construct. This article introduces the rationale for consideration of context, incorporation of a life span perspective, and expansion of methodological approaches in the study of U.S. Latina/o ethnic identity, describing the manner in which the four empirical studies in this major contribution illustrate these issues. The practice implications of current findings are summarized after offering suggestions for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-169
Number of pages16
JournalThe Counseling Psychologist
Volume42
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2014

Keywords

  • Latinas/os
  • ethnic identity
  • identity across life span
  • identity development
  • psychological health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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