Ethnic identity formation during adolescence: The critical role of families

Adriana J. Umaña-Taylor, Ruchi Bhanot, Nana Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


An ecological model of ethnic identity was examined among 639 adolescents of Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Vietnamese, and Salvadoran descent. Using structural equation modeling and, specifically, multiple group comparisons, findings indicated that familial ethnic socialization (FES) played a significant role in the process of ethnic identity formation for all adolescents, regardless of ethnic background. Specifically, adolescents' reports of FES were significantly and positively associated with their reports of exploration, commitment, and affirmation and belonging toward their ethnic background. These results are consistent with empirical work that has found familial socialization to be a central component of ethnic identity formation among children, and with theoretical work on adolescents, which has emphasized the important role of families in the process ethnic identity formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)390-414
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Asian Indian
  • Chinese
  • Ethnic identity
  • Family socialization
  • Filipino
  • Salvadoran
  • Vietnamese


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