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A Three-Stage Model of Ethnic Identity Development in Adolescence. Jean S. Phinney. a model of ethnic identity development in adolescence based on existing models of ego identity and ethnic groups. Until recently little attention was paid to the topic of ethnic identity during adolescence.
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A Three-Stage Model of Ethnic Identity Development in Adolescence Jean S. Phinney
a model of ethnic identity development in adolescence based on existing models of ego identity and ethnic groups.
Until recently little attention was paid to the topic of ethnic identity during adolescence. • This is surprising because identity formation is the central developmental task of adolescence.
During childhood children learn the name of their ethnic group and its obvious characteristics. • Some minority group children even show a preference for the majority group. • Why??
Ego Identity Formation • Most research on identity formation has been provided by Erik Erikson. • Identity is a subjective sense of wholeness that is achieved during adolescence through an identity crisis (turning point). • Those who fail to achieve a secure identity are faced with identity confusion, a lack of clarity about who they are and what their role is in life.
4 Possible Ego-Identity Statuses • Identity Diffusion • Identity Foreclosure • Moratorium • Identity Achieved
It is possible for individuals to remain identity-diffuse or –foreclosed throughout life, or to move in various patterns among the statuses. • Diffusion and foreclosure are generally seen as less mature forms of identity. • An achieved identity is considered the optimum outcome. • Moratorium, or exploration period, is necessary for identity achievement.
Several Models of Ethnic Development have been proposed • Many researchers agree that an achieved identity is the result of a crisis or awakening, which leads to a period of exploration or experimentation and finally to a commitment or incorporation of one’s ethnicity.
Phinney focused on the process of ethnic identity formation. • The way in which individuals come to understand the implications of their ethnicity and make decisions about its role in their lives, regardless of the extent of their ethnic involvement.
Studies of Ethnic Identity among American-born Students • All from high school or college with a diverse ethnic background. • 196 Asian American, black, Hispanic, and white college students from an ethnically diverse urban university established importance of ethnicity to the identity of minority group members.
Stage 1: Unexamined Ethnic Identity • Characterized by the lack of exploration of ethnicity. • Existing models suggest that minority subjects initially accept the values and attitudes of the majority culture. • Including internalized negative views of their own group held by the majority.
During the interview study with the 10th graders: • Limited evidence of internalized negative stereotypes were found. • Some subjects did however express preference to be of the majority culture.
Stage 2: Ethnic Identity Search/Moratorium • The initial stage of ethnic identity is conceptualized as continuing until adolescents encounter a situation that initiates an ethnic identity search.
Interview study with 10th graders showed: • Little evidence of a specific event or series of events that were emotionally intense or disruptive. • Of all the students interviewed a little over 1/5 of the subjects were in this stage.
Stage 3: Ethnic Identity Achievement • The ideal outcome of the identity process, characterized by a clear, confident sense of one’s own ethnicity. • Identity achievement corresponds to acceptance and internalization of one’s ethnicity.
Interview Study with 10th graders: • Their comments reflected their feelings of self-fulfillment. • Subjects feel good about who they are and feel proud of their ethnic identity.
In Summary • The 3 stages of ethnic identity • Unexamined Ethnic Identity • Ethnic Identity Search/Moratorium • Ethnic Identity Achievement