Identity Processes among Racial and Ethnic Minority Children in America

Abstract

A synthesis of the literature related to identity processes among American ethnic and racial minority children and adolescents is presented. In general, ethnic and racial identification, preferences, and attitudes have been studied among younger children, while the constructs of ego identity and ethnic identity have been generally studied among adolescents. The literature is unequally distributed across ethnic groups, with more research on African Americans and American Indians, and on Hispanics and Asians. Methodological concerns, such as problems of nonequivalence across groups, are identified in the conduct of research on ethnic and racial minorities. The synthesis concludes with an identification of intervention efforts along with an articulation of conceptual issues salient for promoting and theorizing about identity development processes among ethnic and racial minority children and adolescents.

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