Ethnic identity, self-esteem and reflected appraisal: Implications during adolescence

Charla Aisha McKinzie, Fordham University

Abstract

Ethnic identity, self-esteem, and reflected appraisal are constructs that promote resiliency and each begins to play a larger role in daily life during adolescence. However, few studies explore these aspects of identity development during early/middle adolescence. Although it is theorized that ethnic identity and self-esteem increase and reflected appraisal (degree to which one's self-esteem is affected by the opinions of others) decreases across adolescence, there are no studies that simultaneously chart age-related differences in and relationships among ethnic identity, self-esteem, and reflected appraisal during adolescence. Therefore, it is unknown whether conventional scales measuring these constructs are appropriate for the measurement of ethnic identity, self-esteem, and reflected appraisal during early/middle adolescence. The current study addressed the salience of conventional scales for the measurement of these constructs and explored age-related changes in and relationships among these construct across adolescence. ^ The participants were 159 adolescents, ranging in age from 10–18, with a mean age of 13.69. The sample derived from a large metropolitan city, with participants from 9 different academic environments. Ethnic identity was assessed using the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure, self-esteem was assessed using the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, and reflected appraisal was assessed by the Reflected Appraisal Subscale of the Contingencies of Self-Worth Scale. ^ Results suggests that all scale were at least minimally acceptable reliability for the measurement of ethnic identity, self-esteem, and reflected appraisal during early and middle adolescence. Although, no age-related trends were found for these variables, several correlational relationships emerged among these variables. Ethnic identity and reflected appraisal were correlated with and unique predictors of with self-esteem during adolescence. Reflected appraisal and ethnic identity (including other group orientation) were not correlated. ^ These results suggest that ethnic identity, self-esteem, and reflected appraisal are salient, reliably measurable constructs during adolescence. Age-related trends did not emerge from these data, however, factors such as academic giftedness and sample heterogeneity may have confounded results. Finally, correlational and regression analysis uncovered relationships among these variables. The findings from these data may be helpful for the development of treatment programs aimed at the development of resiliency during adolescence. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Developmental

Recommended Citation

Charla Aisha McKinzie, "Ethnic identity, self-esteem and reflected appraisal: Implications during adolescence" (January 1, 2002). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3045134.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3045134

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