Individual and social influences on ethnic identity among Latino young adults

Lenna L. Ontai-Grzebik, Marcela Raffaelli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Building on prior Latino ethnic identity research, this study had three goals: describe age-related trends in ethnic identity among young adults, examine relations among ethnic identity and individual factors, and explore the impact of family and peer socialization on ethnic identity. The participants (two hundred 19- to 30-year-olds; mean age = 22.5) completed self-report surveys sent to Latino undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in four midwestern institutions of higher education. The findings suggest individual factors are strong predictors of ethnic identity during early adulthood; respondents who were younger, high on Latino orientation, spent more time in the United States, and whose parents had more formal education reported high levels of ethnic identity achievement. In contrast, ethnic identity exploration was higher among individuals whose parents preferred they date Latinos and had less formal education. The findings contribute knowledge regarding ethnic identity and suggest directions for future research on its development among diverse populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)559-575
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Adolescent Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Ethnic identity
  • Family
  • Latino
  • Peer group
  • Socialization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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