Year of Publication

2008

Document Type

Dissertation

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Tamara Lynette Brown

Abstract

This study uses a causal modeling approach based on structural equation modeling to examine specific hypotheses regarding the relation among ethnic identity, its components, and various mental health outcomes in African American emerging adults. Data was provided by college students at the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. Results did not support a relation between ethnic identity components and adverse mental health. Ethnic identity components were related to positive mental health outcomes; however, this relation differed between gender groups. Among females, the ethnic identity component traditionally labeled ethnic commitment significantly predicted both positive mental health outcomes included in this study. Among males, only life satisfaction was predicted by ethnic identity, and this relation appeared to depend on the component of ethnic identity traditionally labeled ethnic exploration. Findings are discussed in terms of their implications for the current understanding of ethnic identity and its development among African American emerging adults.

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