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Ethnic Identity Development

Understanding identity is a major challenge for psychologists. The challenge is exacerbated by the need to understand how an individual's multidimensional identity develops. During everyday conversations, psychologists use myriad identity-related referents, such as real versus ideal self, identity crisis, self-esteem, and self-schema. These various terms imply that identity is not easily defined and that complexity is inherent in the construct. Theoretical guidance in conceptualizing identity and explaining its development is essential to psychological research, practice, and training.

Theories of Ethnic Identity Development

Understanding ethnic identity is of special interest, its importance having been brought into sharper focus by the increasing diversity within the United States. In particular, a number of theories of ethnic and racial identity have emerged. Each of these theories offers a unique perspective ...

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