Phinney’s Model of Ethnic Identity Development
Jean S. Phinney developed a three stage model of ethnic identity development (1992) based on research with minority adolescents combined with other ego identity and ethnic identity models, especially the works of Marcia and Erickson.
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Stages, Levels, Phases, and Components of the Theory
Stages, Levels, Phases, and Components of the Theory:
Phinney’s Model of Ethnic Identity Development uses a three stage model.
- Stage 1: Unexamined Ethnic Identity
- Individuals fall into two categories based upon the influence or knowledge of the existence of ethnicity
- Diffusion – An individual has not encountered ethnicity as an issue or topic, ethnicity is not an issue of contention
- Foreclosure – An individual as collected information about ethnicity from family and peers and succumbs to information without interacting with individuals of the ethnic group
- Stage 2: Ethnic Identity Search/Moratorium
- Individuals encounter cause him or her to look into their own ethnicity, as well as, become aware of ethnicity
- Individuals continue to seek more information and a multitude of emotions during exploration
- Stage 3: Ethnic Identity Achievement
- Individuals are suggested to have a positive, bicultural identity
- Individuals are informed about their own ethnicity but are aware and appreciative of all ethnicities
Application of Theory to Practice
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Annotations of Associated Literature
Phinney, J.J. (1995). Ethnic identity and self-esteem: A review and integration. In A.M. Padilla (Ed.), Hispanic psychology: Critical issues in theory and research (pp. 57-70). Thousand Oak, CA: Sage
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