Family Matters: The Implications of Family Support on Identity and Well-Being in Multiracial Adolescents

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date

April 2016

Faculty Sponsor

Mary Pritchard


A large body of research has examined identity development through adolescence and emerging adulthood as these life stages focus on personal exploration. Although literature has investigated ethnic identity development during these stages for specific minority groups, few studies have focused on multiracial identity and its interaction with personal identity development. Some evidence supports that multiracial adolescents experience maladaptive psychosocial functioning due to ethnic identity confusion. Alternatively, more recent research has suggested positive outcomes, such as resilience, in multiracial adolescents’ struggle to develop ethnic identity continuity. It is likely that there may be factors, such as family, which influence psychosocial functioning. However, little attention has been directed toward the effects of family influence on identity exploration. The present study seeks to explore the effect of family influence on multiracial adolescent identity exploration. We hypothesize that multiracial adolescents experience more identity crises when their families are unsupportive in their identity exploration endeavors. A self-report questionnaire has been distributed to Psychology students from a public university in a metropolitan city of the Pacific Northwest. Final results will be ready to present by the conference date in April.

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