Ethnic identity developmental trajectories during the transition to college

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The goal of this longitudinal study was to examine the trajectories of ethnic identity exploration and commitment in 538 ethnic-racial minority students during their first 2 years of college. Multilevel modeling analyses demonstrated ethnic identity development continued as students transitioned to college. Specifically, ethnic identity exploration increased in quadratic and linear slopes, whereas ethnic identity commitment increased in a linear slope only. These developmental trajectories were similar across ethnic-racial minority students, regardless of their race, gender, and nativity, with the exception of Asian American students who started college with a higher level of exploration compared to other minority students. In addition, the study found parental ethnic socialization to have a continued influence on ethnic identity development in college. These findings add to a growing number of longitudinal studies on ethnic identity development beyond adolescence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-169
Number of pages13
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Ethnic identity
  • Multilevel modeling
  • Parental ethnic socialization

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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