Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

International Family and Community Studies

Committee Chair/Advisor

McDonell, James R.

Committee Member

Holaday , Bonnie

Committee Member

Kimbrough-Melton , Robin

Committee Member

Robinson , Kathleen


During adolescents individuals develop many lasting features of their identity (Erikson, 1950, Bowen, 1978, Phinney, 1992, 1996, 2005) including the development of self-differentiation and multi-group ethnic identification. Bowen's (1978) theory of differentiation of self and Phinney's (Phinney, 1992) theory of multi-group ethnic identification provided the theoretical and measurement bases for the study. The purpose of this study was to examine the strength of Hispanic adolescents' level of multi-group ethnic identification and their parents' level of self-differentiation and multi-group ethnic identification in predicting second generation Hispanic adolescents' level of self-differentiation. One hundred two (102) Hispanic adolescents, ages 13 to 18, and their parents were surveyed. Skowron and Friendlander's (1998) Differentiation of Self Inventory and Phinney's (2005) Multi-group Ethnic Identification Measure were the principal measures used to survey the parents and the students. Key findings included that parents' birth place was not significantly correlated with teen's multi-group ethnic identification scores. Adolescents' levels of multi-group ethnic identification were significantly associated with their levels of differentiation of self. Parents' levels of differentiation of self scores were significantly associated with adolescents' differentiation of self scores. Using multi-level regression analysis, a significant intra-class relationship between the parent group's self-differentiation scores and the adolescent group's multi-group ethnic identification scores was found. There was also a significant intra-class relationship between the parents' multi-group ethnic identification scores and the adolescents' self-differentiation scores. Adolescent self-differentiation scores were partially predicted by adolescent multi-group ethnic identification scores and parent self-differentiation scores.

Included in

Psychology Commons



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