SAGE Journal Articles

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Adolescent Ethnic Identity 

Phinney, J. S. (1989). Stages of ethnic identity development in minority group adolescents. The Journal of Early Adolescence, 9, 34-49. 


The goal of this article was to describe the stages of ethnic identity development specific to adolescents from a minority group (diffusion, foreclosure, moratorium, and achievement) and determine if this model accurately describes the development of ethnic identity. Participants, both minority (Black & Hispanic) and White, were interviewed about the extent to which they had explored their ethnicity, their commitment to their ethnic identity, and their attitudes about ethnicity and completed a questionnaire evaluating their self-concept and peer and family relations. The results suggest that regardless of group, all adolescents encounter similar problems with developing their ethnic identity.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How might the idea of adolescent egocentrism play into the development of ethnic identity in minority groups?
  2. What can parents and communities do to help adolescents develop a strong ethnic identity and combat stereotype threat or self-fulfilling prophecies?
  3. Although all of the participants in this study indicated their parents were of the same ethnicity, what difficulties do you think an adolescent would have if their parents were from two different racial or ethnic groups?

Adolescent Romantic Relationships

Furman, W. (2002). The emerging field of adolescent romantic relationships. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 11, 177-180.


Although the idea of adolescence has been around for quite some time, until recently there has been very little research into the nature of adolescent romantic relationships. This is surprising given the centrality of these relationships in adolescents’ lives. These relationships can impact identity development, relationships with peers and family, and often impact academic achievement and decisions. As we see more and more adolescents reporting dating violence, it is imperative that we gain a better understating of the nature of their romantic relationships. This article briefly outlines some of the major topics currently under study.  

Discussion Questions:

  1. Even less research has been conducted on homosexual romantic relationships in adolescence. Would you expect there to be differences in the types of relationships or the problems encountered by gay teens?
  2. What role do you think early puberty might play in the types of romantic relationships males and females are likely to develop?
  3. Do you think it would just as important to teach teens about healthy relationships in their sexual education courses?