Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Ethnic Identity Development among 1.5 and 2nd Generation Immigrants across Ten Years: A Discriminant Analysis
by Mir, Hirah A., Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany, 2018, 102; 10811941
Abstract (Summary)

Ethnic identity is a major component of the psychological development and well-being of adolescents and adults. In the United States, immigrants are often tasked with balancing their minority culture and a dominant White American culture. This study used the two-dimensional Racial/Cultural Identity Development (R/CID) Model to illustrate progression toward an integrated ethnic identity, in which individuals identify with and integrate their minority ethnic group and the dominant group. An integrated identity is achieved at the Integrative Awareness status of the R/CID Model. Individuals at this status are found to possess more psychological resources to cope with psychosocial crises as compared to other statuses (i.e., Conformity, Dissonance, Resistance and Immersion, Introspection).

The Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study (CILS) dataset was used to identify three patterns of ethnic identity over ten years, with each pattern capturing varying proximity to an Integrative Awareness status. Participants were all children of immigrants, either 1.5 or second generation immigrants themselves, and had self-identified their ethnic identity at two points over ten years. Each self-identification was categorized as (1) American, (2) Racial/Panethnic, (3) National Origin, or (4) Hyphenated, and was representative of a particular status in the R/CID Model; that is, American was representative of “Conformity,” Racial/Panethnic of “Dissonance,” National Origin of “Resistance and Immersion,” and Hyphenated of “Integrative Awareness.” Next, a participant’s change in self-identification over ten years was labeled as either a change Toward Integrative Awareness (e.g. from American to Hyphenated), a change Away from Integrative Awareness (e.g. Hyphenated to American), or Static (i.e., no change in self-identification). Toward Integrative Awareness, Away from Integrative Awareness, and Static were the three patterns of ethnic identity development.

Direct discriminant analyses were conducted on a group of participants (n = 2,528) from the CILS dataset to test whether discrimination experience, knowledge of native language, self-esteem, level of education, importance of ethnic identity, and family cohesion distinguished between the three patterns of ethnic identity development. Results revealed two discriminant functions, which in combination, significantly differentiated the three patterns. Correlations between the predictors and ethnic identity development patterns for all children of immigrants in the sample were evaluated. Of all the predictors, discrimination experience had the strongest relationship with the ethnic identity development patterns when the entire sample was considered. Children of immigrants who experienced more discrimination across ten years tended to move Toward Integrative Awareness. The contribution of predictors in distinguishing between the three patterns varied by gender in that both discriminant functions significantly differentiated the patterns for women but not for men. There was also variation across generational status with discriminant functions being significant for 1.5 generation immigrants but not for second generation. No such variation was observed among Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic, and White racial groups. Results provide insight into the normative ethnic identity development of immigrants and suggest a need for more research and theories that highlight the nuanced experiences of female immigrants and 1.5 generation immigrants.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Sheu, Hung-Bin
Commitee: Dai, David Y., Newman, Joan
School: State University of New York at Albany
Department: Educational Psychology and Methodology
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-B 79/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Educational psychology, Counseling Psychology, Developmental psychology, Ethnic studies
Keywords: 1.5 generation, Adolescent, CILS, Discrimination, Ethnic identity development, Immigrant
Publication Number: 10811941
ISBN: 9780438075184
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