Contexts of Adolescent Ethnic-Racial Identity Development: A Mixed Methods Approach

pMost available quantitative research on ethnic-racial identity (ERI) development has used traditional survey methods, limiting a more integrated understanding of how contextual influences in adolescents’ daily lives (e.g., schools, peers, families) inform their ERI development. Grounded in cultural-ecological theories of development (García Coll et al., 1996; Vélez-Agosto et al., 2017), this two-part qualitative and quantitative study is designed to examine how diverse U.S. secondary school students give voice to exploring and understanding their ERI. As part of Dr. Umaña-Taylor’s Identity Project, adolescents were invited to reflect on how they have explored and come to understand what their ethnicity-race mean to them. These focus group discussions were conducted with groups of Asian, Black, Latinx, and White 9th to 12th grade students in an ethno-racially diverse school setting. The current focus of this project involves a consensual qualitative research (CQR; Hill et al., 2005) approach to identify how social-contextual factors in adolescents’ lives shape their ERI. In turn, this work will inform an upcoming daily diary study as a novel contribution to the Identity Project intervention, with the goal of more closely examining daily interactions between students and their teachers, peers, and family as they experience and engage with the intervention content. Dr. Michael Sladek and Dr. Adriana Umaña-Taylor are co-Principal Investigators of this project, funded by the National Science Foundation Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (SPRF).

Investigative Team:
Michael Sladek (Harvard Graduate School of Education)
Adriana Umaña-Taylor (Harvard Graduate School of Education)