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Ethnic identification and ethnic identity of immigrant Chinese families Kester, Karen

Abstract

This study explores the ethnic identification and ethnic identity of immigrant Chinese mothers (n = 56) and adolescents (n = 55) living in the Greater Vancouver Area, British Columbia, Canada. Survey methods were used to assess: (a) measures of ethnic identification and ethnic identity, (b) intergenerational similitude of ethnic identification, and (c) intergenerational similitude of ethnic identity. Findings contribute to the conceptualization and measurement of both ethnic identification and ethnic identity. Most noteworthy, results support (a) that the Ethnic Identification Scale is an adequate measure of ethnic identification, (b) the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Scale (Phinney, 1992) contains a single component with two theoretical dimensions, and (c) ethnic identification and ethnic identity are distinct constructs. In addition, the intergenerational similitude of ethnic identification and ethnic identity was examined according to the goodness-of-fit and exploration/perspective-taking models. Contrary to expectations, no support was found for the similitude of ethnic identification between mothers and their adolescent children. On the other hand, there was evidence for the intergenerational similitude of ethnic identity, supporting the exploration/perspective-taking model for understanding ethnic identity development within the family context. Adolescents were more likely to explore issues related to their ethnic group membership if their mother engages in the exploration process.

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