Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

September 2004


Published in Journal of Adolescent Research, 19:5 (September 2004), pp. 559-575. Copyright © 2004 Sage Publications. Used by permission.


Building on prior Latino ethnic identity research, this study had three goals: describe age-related trends in ethnic identity among young adults, examine relations among ethnic identity and individual factors, and explore the impact of family and peer socialization on ethnic identity. The participants (two hundred 19-to 30-year-olds; mean age = 22.5) completed self-report surveys sent to Latino undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in four midwestern institutions of higher education. The findings suggest individual factors are strong predictors of ethnic identity during early adulthood; respondents who were younger, high on Latino orientation, spent more time in the United States, and whose parents had more formal education reported high levels of ethnic identity achievement. In contrast, ethnic identity exploration was higher among individuals whose parents preferred they date Latinos and had less formal education. The findings contribute knowledge regarding ethnic identity and suggest directions for future research on its development among diverse populations.