Longitudinal trajectories of ethnic identity during the college years

Moin Syed, Margarita Azmitia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


The goals of this study were to examine trajectories of change in ethnic identity during the college years and to explore group-level and individual-level variations. Participants were 175 diverse college students who completed indices of ethnic identity exploration and commitment, self-esteem, and domain-general identity resolution. Multilevel modeling analyses indicated that exploration and commitment continued to increase during the college years. Although there were ethnic differences in initial levels of ethnic identity, the rate of change did not vary by ethnicity. Domain-general identity was positively associated with exploration and commitment and mediated the association between self-esteem and commitment. The findings highlight the ongoing development of ethnic identity beyond adolescence and suggest that ethnic identity is part of the larger identity project.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)601-624
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2009


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