Ethnic Identity Scale

Ethnic Identity Scale (EIS)

The Ethnic Identity Scale assesses three distinct components of ethnic-racial identity: (a) exploration, or the degree to which individuals have explored their ethnicity; (b) resolution, or the degree to which they have resolved what their ethnic identity means to them; and (c) affirmation, or the affect (positive or negative) that they associate with their ethnic-group membership (Umaña-Taylor, Yazedjian, & Bámaca-Gómez, 2004). Exploration and resolution capture aspects of the developmental process of ethnic-racial identity, and affirmation captures ethnic-racial identity content. Examination of exploration and resolution as individual scales enables scholars to categorize individuals into ethnic-racial identity statuses of diffuse, foreclosed, moratorium, and achieved (for detailed instructions of this approach see Umaña-Taylor, Yazedjian, & Bámaca-Gómez, 2004).

Original and Brief Versions.

There are two versions of the Ethnic Identity Scale, an “original” scale and a “brief” version. The “original” 17-item Ethnic Identity Scale (EIS) assesses the three components of ethnic identity and distinguishes exploration (7 items), resolution (4 items), and affirmation (6 items). Items are scored on a 4-point Likert scale, with end points of “Does not describe me at all” (1) to “Describes me very well” (4). Sample items include “I have attended events that have helped me learn more about my ethnicity” (exploration), “I have a clear sense of what my ethnicity means to me” (resolution), and “I wish I were of a different ethnicity” (affirmation, reverse scored).

The Ethnic Identity Scale-Brief (EIS-B) version was developed through two studies which resulted in a 9-item brief version of the EIS (Douglass & Umaña-Taylor, 2015) – the items selected for this brief version were not changed from how they appeared in the original version. Existing findings provide support for the validity and reliability of the EIS-B as a brief measure of the multidimensional construct of ethnic-racial identity, and indicate that the EIS-B assesses ethnic-racial identity in a comparable manner to the original version of the scale (Douglass & Umaña-Taylor, 2015).

Psychometric Properties.

The subscales of the EIS have obtained moderately strong alpha coefficients ranging from .84 to .89 with ethnically diverse samples (Umaña-Taylor, Yazedjian, & Bámaca-Gómez, 2004). Full psychometric properties for the EIS and EIS-B are reported in:

Umaña-Taylor, A. J., Yazedjian, A. & Bámaca-Gómez, M. Y. (2004). Developing the Ethnic Identity Scale using Eriksonian and social identity perspectives. Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research, 4, 9-38.

Douglass, S., & Umaña-Taylor, A. J. (2015). A brief form of the Ethnic Identity Scale: Development and empirical validation. Identity, 15(1), 48-65.

Ethnic-Racial Groups Assessed.

The EIS and EIS-B have been used to examine ethnic identity among African American, Asian American, Native American/American Indian, Latino, White, and Multiracial adolescents and adults in the U.S. The EIS has also been used in studies internationally, in Germany, Colombia, Greece. The original scale has been translated into Spanish, German, Greek.

References

Umaña-Taylor, A. J., Yazedjian, A. & Bámaca-Gómez, M. Y. (2004). Developing the Ethnic Identity Scale using Eriksonian and social identity perspectives. Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research, 4, 9-38.

Douglass, S., & Umaña-Taylor, A. J. (2015). A brief form of the Ethnic Identity Scale: Development and empirical validation. Identity, 15(1), 48-65.

Umaña-Taylor, A. J., Vargas-Chanes, D., Garcia, C. D., & Gonzales-Backen, M. (2008). An examination of Latino adolescents’ ethnic identity, coping with discrimination, and self-esteem. Journal of Early Adolescence, 28, 16-50.

Supple, A. J., Ghazarian, S. R., Frabutt, J. M., Plunkett, S. W., & Sands, T. (2006). Contextual influences on Latino adolescent ethnic identity and academic outcomes. Child Development, 77, 1427-1433.

Umaña-Taylor, A. J., Gonzales-Backen, M., A., & Guimond, A. (2009). Latino adolescents’ ethnic identity: Is there a developmental progression and does growth in ethnic identity predict growth in self-esteem? Child Development, 80, 391-405.

Using EIS

All researchers have permission to use the EIS, with the following citation: Umaña-Taylor, A. J., Yazedjian, A. & Bámaca-Gómez, M. Y. (2004). Developing the Ethnic Identity Scale using Eriksonian and social identity perspectives. Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research, 4, 9-38.

All researchers have permission to use the EIS-B, with the following citation: Douglass, S., & Umaña-Taylor, A. J. (2015). A brief form of the Ethnic Identity Scale: Development and empirical validation. Identity, 15(1), 48-65.

To download the EIS, click here. For a Spanish version, click here.

To download the EIS-B (Eng & Spanish), click here.

If you are planning to translate the EIS or EIS-B into other languages, please send the final version of the measure and any information on how the measure held up in analyses to Adriana Umaña-Taylor.