Abstract/Details

American identity crisis: The relation between national, social, and personal identity in a multiethnic sample


2007 2008

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Abstract (summary)

This study investigated meanings ascribed to "American Identity" and how they relate to identity in general. The sample was 326 Black ( n = 79), Latino (n = 189), and White (n = 58) college students residing in Miami, Florida. The meanings of American Identity were based on four qualitative questions which were coded thematically: characteristics that define the typical American, characteristics that describe how one is American, qualities that make one not American, and degree to which one feels American. Chi-squares indicated few differences in defining American identity. Ethnic minorities (M = 61.56, SD = 28.05) felt less American than Whites (M = 74.09, SD = 24.35) and that, regardless of their citizenship, they are not perceived as Americans. Hierarchical linear regressions revealed that a stronger ethnic identity was related to feeling less American (β = -.17, p < .05). For Latinos, heritage culture was related to less positive responses to overall qualities of American identity and the extent to which they felt American (respectively, β = -.75, p <.05 and β = -.16, p <.01). For Blacks, stronger orientation toward interdependence was related to less positive evaluation overall traits that make one an American, (β = -.18, p <.05). Responses suggested that participants believe that, to be American, one must sacrifice a connection to family and community. Personal identity was the most consistent predictor of American identity (β = .14, p < .05). A secure sense of self seems to help young people make sense of their social world and manage difficult choices about their identity.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Social psychology
Classification
0451: Social psychology
Identifier / keyword
Psychology; Culture; Emerging adults; Ethnic identity; Identity; Multiethnic; National identity
Title
American identity crisis: The relation between national, social, and personal identity in a multiethnic sample
Author
Rodriguez, Liliana
Number of pages
69
Publication year
2007
Degree date
2008
School code
0118
Source
DAI-B 69/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780549664109
Advisor
Whitbourne, Susan
Committee member
Janoff-Bulman, Ronnie; Schwartz, Seth; Williams, Elizabeth
University/institution
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Department
Psychology
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3315530
ProQuest document ID
304846910
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/304846910
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