Parental influences on ethnic identity development: Implications of parenting style, attachment, and ethnic socialization

Rula Abu-Sbaih, Pace University

Abstract

The development of ethnic identity (EI) during emerging adulthood was examined in relation to retrospective perceptions of earlier life experiences, with specific regard to parenting style (PS), security of attachment, and familial ethnic socialization (FES). The overall model consisted of determining whether knowledge of all three parenting variables (PS, attachment, and FES) would offer increased power in predicting outcomes with respect to EI exploration and commitment. The ethnically diverse sample consisted of 268 undergraduate and graduate students and recent alumni aged 18–30 years (M = 22.11, SD = 3.41). Measures included a demographics questionnaire, the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure-Revised (MEIM-R; Phinney & Ong, 2007), Familial Ethnic Socialization Measure (FESM; Umaña-Taylor, 2001), Parental Authority Questionnaire (PAQ, Buri, 1991) and Parental Attachment Questionnaire (PAttQ; Kenny, 1990). Regression analyses were conducted to determine the strength of the study variables, both individually and collectively, in predicting outcomes with respect to EI exploration and commitment. Results showed that perceived FES is the strongest predictor of EI exploration and commitment, suggesting that families who emphasize the importance of their ethnic heritage raise children who are more knowledgeable about and feel more strongly connected to their ethnicity, thereby strengthening their EI. The overall model accounted for the highest degree of variance in EI when compared to the predictive power of each variable separately, suggesting that early family experiences have significant implications for EI development in emerging adulthood. In addition, one-way analyses of variance (ANOVAs) revealed significant differences both across ethnic groups and across immigration generational status, suggesting that specific cultural characteristics, as well as the immigrant experience, are significant contributing factors in both parenting and EI development. Implications for clinical and school psychology practice are discussed. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Developmental|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies

Recommended Citation

Rula Abu-Sbaih, "Parental influences on ethnic identity development: Implications of parenting style, attachment, and ethnic socialization" (January 1, 2010). ETD Collection for Pace University. Paper AAI3425231.
http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/dissertations/AAI3425231

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