Cultural Identity Development In Early Adulthood

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Early adulthood is a time when young adults struggle with accepting or rejecting their ancestral roots as they attempt to develop a positive sense of self. Nigerian-American adults, in particular, struggle with the integration of immensely different elements of Eastern and Western cultures while living in the United States. Despite the difficulties in cultural integration among Nigerian-American adults, few studies have been conducted about their bicultural ethnic identity development. Grounded in Phinney’s stages of ethnic identity development and Tajfel and Turner’s social identity theory, this study attempted to delineate the demographic and social factors that are correlated with development of a positive bicultural ethnic identity. Contrary…show more content…
The population movement started in Northern and Western Europe, then spread to Southern and Eastern Europe and to the world at large. The migration to the U.S. was part of a much larger world movement due to economic changes in many societies. In the 19th Century, immigrants provided the labor supply for the development of industrial capitalism in the United States (Choy, 1979).

The first wave of Nigerian emigration to the U.S. started in the 1902 (Choy, 1979). A second wave of Nigerian immigration took place when a limited number of wives and children followed husbands to the United State (Kim & Condon, 1975). In addition, Kim and Condon (1975) reported that the greatest Nigerian emigration to the U.S. occurred after the 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act. The Nigerian government encouraged emigration as part of a new population control program, and as a means of maintaining socio-economic stability. A third and last wave of immigrants came to the U.S. in a quest for better employment, the pursuit of educational opportunities, or to reunite with their family members (Ogbu,
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The relationship between the two variables is depicted in Figure 3. The findings in Table 5 reveal that the association between age and ethnic identity was negative, moderately strong, and statistically significant (r = -.17, p = .02). Thus, the null hypothesis could not be rejected. Instead, younger respondents developed more western identities than the older respondents.

Figure 3. Scatterplot depicting the relationship between age and ethnic identity.

Level of education and ethnic identity: It was hypothesized that there would be a positive and statistically significant relationship between education level and ethnic identity among first and second generation Nigerian-American immigrants. As education level increased, ethnic identity (more American) would also increase.

A one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted to test this hypothesis. The means and standard deviations for ethnic identity scores across levels of education are presented in Table 6. The findings indicate that ethnic identity scores did not differ significantly across levels of education (F (5,188) = .34, p = .885). Thus, the null hypothesis was

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