The Latino population has been identified as the fastest growing population in the United States, and it is expected that Latinos will represent more than 25 percent of the U.S. population by the year 2060. Even though the census data have shown that the Latino youth population is increasing, there is still an overwhelming under-representation of this population in research, policymaking, and practice. The lack of research and culturally relevant programs minimize the access that Latino youth has to after-school programs, athletics, support groups, and leadership development workshops. Research and practice have yet to understand some of the complex realities and diversity within Latino cultures affecting Latino youth development and emotional and social well-being.
The purpose of this study was to develop a conceptual framework of ethnic identity development for Latino youth that includes components that represents this population's realities and experiences using a meta-analytic approach. Further, this study evaluated the theoretical frameworks, definitions, and measurements that were been used to explain ethnic identity development on Latino youth. Finally, this study sought to identify the relationships, if any, between the variables that impact Latino youth ethnic identity and ethnic identity development.
This study used a meta-analytic method to evaluate the literature in ethnic identity and Latino youth. The results showed that there is very little agreement on how to conceptualize and measure ethnic identity on Latino youth. Also, the majority of the studies grouped Latinos into one homogeneous group. Finally, few studies mentioned or studied the components proposed in the Latino youth conceptual framework. Only a few elements (e.g., language, self-esteem, teachers, neighborhood, family, nationality, ethnic socialization, culture, and ethnic exploration) were studied and showed a moderate to a high relationship with ethnic identity development.
In a time where Latinos are increasing their number and impact in the US, it is important that practitioners, educators, and researchers understand how this population constructs its identity because it will affect this group's psychological well-being and social development.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. June 2010. Major: Educational Psychology. Advisor: Geoffrey Maruyama, Ph.D. 1 computer file (PDF); xi, 153 pages.
Pabon, Maria Caridad.
Ethnic Identity Development in Latino Youth: A Meta Analysis of the Research.
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