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Dev Psychol. 2010 Jan;46(1):208-19. doi: 10.1037/a0017825.

Narrative and ethnic identity exploration: a longitudinal account of emerging adults' ethnicity-related experiences.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA. moin@umn.edu


The purpose in this longitudinal study was to investigate further the link between ethnic identity processes and content through an examination of emerging adults' narratives of ethnicity-related experiences. Seventy ethnically diverse college students completed an ethnic identity exploration index and told an ethnicity-related narrative on 2 occasions 18 months apart. Results indicated that (a) participants who increased in exploration over time were more likely to change their narrative theme than participants who decreased or remained stable in exploration and (b) these changes were more likely to be to stories of experience of prejudice or connection to culture. This study highlights the costs and benefits of ethnic identity and provides evidence for a linkage between ethnic identity process and content in emerging adulthood.

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