Ethnic Identity Development And Multicultural Ethnic Development In Nigerian-American Adults

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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 to predictions, Nigerian-Americans with strong social support systems were more entrenched in their Nigerian identity. But, as predicted, Nigerian- Americans with strong family support systems developed more western identities. Contrary to expectations, older respondents were more entrenched in their Nigerian identity. Level of education, however, was not associated with development of a western identity. As expected, however, the longer Nigerian-Americans lived in the United States, the more western they became. Altogether, the findings of the study indicate that different sources of social support and demographic factors affect bicultural ethnic development in different ways. The findings also suggest that demographic factors may

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