A Two-Factor Model of Ethnic Identity Exploration: Implications for Identity Coherence and Well-Being

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Abstract

The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the multidimensional nature of ethnic identity exploration and its relevance for a broader sense of identity and well-being. Participants were 3,637 ethnic minority college students who completed survey measures of ethnic identity exploration, general identity coherence, general identity confusion, and well-being. Consistent with our 3 hypotheses, the results indicated that (a) ethnic identity exploration comprised 2 dimensions, participation and search; (b) participation was positively associated with well-being, whereas search was negatively associated with well-being; and (c) identity coherence and identity confusion mediated the associations between participation and search, respectively, and well-being. These findings have important theoretical implications for conceptualization and measurement of ethnic identity exploration and its association with well-being.

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