A Universal Intervention Program Increases Ethnic-Racial Identity Exploration and Resolution to Predict Adolescent Psychosocial Functioning One Year Later
Ethnic-racial identity formation represents a key developmental task that is especially salient during adolescence and has been associated with many indices of positive adjustment. The Identity Project intervention, which targeted ethnic-racial identity exploration and resolution, was designed based on the theory that program-induced changes in ethnic-racial identity would lead to better psychosocial adjustment (e.g., global identity cohesion, self-esteem, mental health, academic achievement). Adolescents (N =215; Mage =15.02, SD =.68; 50% female) participated in a small-scale randomized control trial with an attention control group. A cascading mediation model was tested using pre-test and three follow-up assessments (12, 18, and 67 weeks after baseline). The program led to increases in exploration, subsequent increases in resolution and, in turn, higher global identity cohesion, higher self-esteem, lower depressive symptoms, and better grades. Results support the notion that increasing adolescents’ ethnic-racial identity can promote positive psychosocial functioning among youth.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10964-017-0766-5
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