Communication Studies, Department of


First Advisor

Jordan Soliz

Date of this Version



Megan Cardwell (2019). Examining the Role of Sibling Interaction in Multiethnic-racial Identity Development. [Master's Thesis]. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Communication Studies, Under the Supervision of Professor Jordan Soliz. Lincoln, Nebraska: April 15th, 2019.

Copyright (c) 2019 Megan E. Cardwell


Ethnic-racial identity (ERI) is tied to wellbeing, especially for ethnic-racial minority individuals (Smith & Silva, 2011; Phinney, 2000), and the process of ERI development is inherently social. However, much of our research on ERI development has focused on ethnic-racial socialization processes between parents and children, despite the fact that sibling relationships tend to be integral to individuals’ development and adjustment. Further, ethnic-racial socialization research tends to focus on monoethnic-racial individuals, despite our increasingly multicultural world. Thus, the purpose of this study is to determine the role that sibling interaction plays in multiethnic-racial identity development. 21 ME-R individuals were interviewed about their ME-R identity development process as well as what it was like growing up as a ME-R individual with siblings. Interviews were analyzed using a grounded theory approach (Charmaz, 2006) and results show that contextual factors shape the role that siblings play in ME-R identity development by shaping the ways siblings engage with difference, the ways siblings discuss race and ethnicity, and the ways siblings identify as individuals in terms of race and ethnicity. Implications and opportunities for future research are discussed.

Advisor: Jordan Soliz