Article

Inter‐Relations Between Ethnic‐Racial Discrimination and Ethnic‐Racial Identity Among Early Adolescents

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Abstract

The authors examined whether the longitudinal inter‐relations between ethnic‐racial discrimination and ethnic‐racial identity vary according to the perpetrator of discrimination. The authors used three waves of data from early adolescents (n = 387; ages 11–12 at Wave 1) to assess the strength and direction of relations between perceived discrimination from non‐school adults and peers vis‐à‐vis ethnic‐racial identity exploration, commitment, private regard, and public regard. Cross‐lagged autoregressive path analyses showed that more frequent discrimination, regardless of source, had reciprocal and significant longitudinal inter‐relations with exploration and public regard. Peer discrimination predicted lower commitment and private regard 1 year later, whereas non‐school adult discrimination did not. Implications are discussed in relation to the role of peers and ethnic‐racial identity processes.

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... Rather, our evidence indicated that online spaces may be a particularly dangerous setting for adolescents, especially considering the salient processes of racial identity development during this period. 33 To prepare racially minoritized youths and their families to cope with these adverse experiences, psychiatrists and clinicians should recognize online spaces as developmental contexts with immediate consequences for youths' mental health. 34,35 No discernible effect of online racial discrimination emerged for White adolescents. ...
... Although the magnitude of these effect sizes was relatively small, the present study's effect sizes were similar to those found in longitudinal studies with wider time frames (eg, yearly intervals). 33,41 However, our effect sizes were on average larger than those found in prior studies using daily-diary study designs. 42,43 It is worth noting, however, that these prior daily-diary studies focused on offline racial discrimination only, whereas the present study examined racial discrimination in online settings. ...
Article
Objective To determine whether rates of online racial discrimination changed over the course of 2020 and their longitudinal effects on Black youth’s mental health. Method This longitudinal study collected 18,454 daily assessments from a nationally representative sample of 602 Black and White adolescents in the United States (58% Black, 42% White; Mage = 15.09, SDage = 1.56) across 58 days during the heightened racial tensions between March and November 2020. Results Black youth experienced increases in online racial discrimination, and these increases were not fully explained by time spent online nor general cybervictimization experiences. Online racial discrimination predicted poorer same- and next-day mental health among Black youth but not among White youth. Black youth’s mental health did not predict their online racial discrimination experiences. Conclusion Online racial discrimination has implications for shaping mental health disparities that disadvantage Black youth relative to their White peers. Programs can be implemented to decrease online hate crimes, and health providers (e.g., pediatricians, psychiatrists) should develop procedures that mitigate the negative mental health effects following online racial discrimination experiences.
... Discrimination experiences during adolescence critically shape trajectories of ERS (Hughes et al., 2017;Ruck et al., 2022;Umaña-Taylor et al., 2014). When minority youth experience more discrimination, they engage in more identity exploration (Del Toro et al., 2021;Pahl & Way, 2006). Relatedly, their ethnic-racial identity becomes more central but their awareness of its negative public regard also increases (Del Toro et al., 2021;Rivas-Drake et al., 2009). ...
... When minority youth experience more discrimination, they engage in more identity exploration (Del Toro et al., 2021;Pahl & Way, 2006). Relatedly, their ethnic-racial identity becomes more central but their awareness of its negative public regard also increases (Del Toro et al., 2021;Rivas-Drake et al., 2009). As schools are key socialization contexts, we ask how the ERS of minority adolescents is informed by school discrimination. ...
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Immigrant‐origin minority adolescents combine their common national identity with distinct ethnic identities. Depending on different social ecologies they develop more or less compatible dual identifications. Taking an ecological approach to ethnic‐racial socialization (ERS), we investigate how schools and peers as socializing agents can afford compatible ethnic and national identifications. We draw on the Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Survey of 944 Turkish and Moroccan minority adolescents in 229 classrooms across 55 Belgian secondary schools with low (10%) to high minority presence (60%+). On average ethnic and national identifications were not significantly associated. In support of the protective role of minority peers, multilevel modeling revealed that national and ethnic identifications were more compatible in classrooms with more minority peers; while school discrimination undermined compatibility only in classrooms with fewer minority peers. We conclude that minority peers are key agents in the socialization of compatible ethnic and national identities.
... The impact of stress and discrimination experiences can lead individuals into a disengaged state with the majority culture [10,44]. A person's ethnic identity (or racial identity) and the development of this part of one's social identity has been a popular research topic [45,46]. Mostly, researchers are interested in the role of an individual's ethnic identity in terms of their well-being or other similar constructs. ...
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... Negative messages from peers, such as negative racial stereotypes, expressions of discomfort, or direct and indirect preferences for exclusion, can exacerbate prejudicial attitudes, impact ethnicracial identity, and discourage interracial contact Del Toro et al., 2021). This may especially be the case for White children who are not often victims of racial discrimination and sometimes have difficulty recognizing their own biases and instances of prejudice among others (Apfelbaum et al., 2008;Brown, 2017). ...
Article
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... Further, most studies examining discrimination trajectory have focused on middle or late adolescents (Constante et al., 2021;Park et al., 2021;Tynes et al., 2020;Unger et al., 2016); research examining early adolescents is limited (Del Toro et al., 2021). Early adolescence is the stage when youth begin to consider their own group identity and how others view their groups (Umaña-Taylor, 2016). ...
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... Furthermore, school cultural socialization predicted ethnic-racial identity and grades, over and above adolescents' perceived ethnic-racial discrimination. Self-reported discrimination may be a proxy for youth who are attuned to ethnic-racial biases and prejudices, making them more readily able to attribute unfair treatment to ethnic-racial discrimination than their peers who are less attuned to such dynamics (Del Toro, Hughes, & Way, 2020). The fact that our findings remained significant after controlling for self-reported experiences of discrimination suggests that all youth, even those who may be less attuned to ethnic-racial biases and prejudices, benefitted from school cultural socialization practices. ...
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This meta-analytic study systematically investigates the relations between perceived racial/ethnic discrimination and socioemotional distress, academics, and risky health behaviors during adolescence, and potential variation in these relations. The study included 214 peer-reviewed articles, theses, and dissertations, with 489 unique effect sizes on 91,338 unique adolescents. Random-effects meta-analyses across 11 separate indicators of well-being identified significant detrimental effects. Greater perceptions of racial/ethnic discrimination were linked to more depressive and internalizing symptoms; greater psychological distress; poorer self-esteem; lower academic achievement and engagement; less academic motivation; greater engagement in externalizing behaviors, risky sexual behaviors, and substance use; and more associations with deviant peers. Metaregression and subgroup analyses indicated differences by race/ethnicity, Gender × Race/Ethnicity interactions, developmental stage, timing of retrospective measurement of discrimination, and country. Overall, this study highlights the pernicious effects of racial/ethnic discrimination for adolescents across developmental domains and suggests who is potentially at greater risk.
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This study examined various parental racial socialization messages as mediators between school-based racial discrimination and racial identity formation over 4 years for African American boys (N = 639) and African American girls (N = 711). Findings indicated that school-based racial discrimination was associated with racial identity beliefs. For African American boys, behavioral racial socialization messages mediated the relation between school-based racial discrimination and racial centrality over time. Mediation also resulted for African American girls, but for a different set of race-related messages (negative messages and racial barriers) and racial identity beliefs. The developmental significance of the findings and implications for future research are discussed.
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Two approaches to conceptualizing ethnic-racial identity development dominate the literature within developmental psychology—1 focused on the process of ethnic-racial identity development, including exploration and commitment, and another focused on the evaluative components of identity, including private and public regard. In this study, we examined the interrelations among exploration, commitment, private regard, and public regard across three years in an ethnically diverse sample of Black, Dominican, Chinese, and White early adolescents. To examine the temporal precedence of multiple identity components, we used autoregressive latent trajectory analysis, which estimated time specific relationships, as well as covariation between latent factors. Findings indicated significant cross-time relationships among all identity components. For the most part, exploration predicted commitment, private regard, and public regard but not the reverse. Relationships between commitment and regard were reciprocal. Findings varied across ethnic-racial groups. We discuss the implications of our work for understanding identity processes.
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Ethnic–racial identity (ERI) development and ethnic–racial discrimination are two salient experiences among adolescents in the United States. Despite growing awareness of the costs and benefits of these experiences individually, we know little about how they may influence one another. The current study examined competing hypotheses relating discrimination and components of ERI (i.e., exploration, resolution, affirmation) among a sample of Mexican-origin adolescent mothers (N = 181; Mage at Wave 1 = 16.83, SD = 1.01) across six waves of data. Findings revealed that within-person changes in discrimination predicted subsequent ERI resolution and affirmation; however, ERI did not predict subsequent discrimination. Between-person effects of discrimination on affirmation were significant. Our findings underscore the importance of discrimination experiences in shaping Mexican-origin adolescent mothers’ normative developmental competencies.
Article
Ethnic identity formation is a central developmental task that can become challenging when adolescents face a salient stressor, such as ethnic discrimination. Although ethnic identity and experiences with ethnic discrimination are thought to be associated, the temporal order of these constructs is unclear. In the current study, we examined (1) the rejection-identification model and (2) the identification-attribution model in a longitudinal, cross-lagged model among 302 Hispanic immigrant adolescents (Mage = 14.51, SD = .88 at baseline; 46.7% female) living in Miami (n = 152) and Los Angeles (n = 150). Results support the identification-attribution model such that adolescents who reported higher levels of ethnic identity exploration reported higher levels of perceived discrimination one year later. Conversely, adolescents who reported higher levels of ethnic identity belonging reported less subsequent perceived discrimination. Findings suggest that ethnic identity formation may affect the recognition of ethnic discrimination among Hispanic immigrant adolescents.
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This longitudinal study examined the role of perceived racial/ethnic discrimination and public ethnic regard on depressive symptoms in an adolescent Latino sample (n = 141) living in an emerging immigrant community. Using a cross lagged model, this study found that Time 1 (T1) discrimination did not predict T2 depressive symptoms, nor did depressive symptoms predict T2 discrimination. However, public ethnic regard served as a significant moderator of the longitudinal association of discrimination. For youth who reported high public ethnic regard and high racial/ethnic discrimination at T1, they reported greater discrimination at T2 compared to those who reported low public ethnic regard. These findings suggest that an internalized positive perception of the public's view of one's ethnic group is a potential vulnerability factor that needs to be better understood. These findings imply the need for additional research on the unique role of public ethnic regard in emerging immigrant communities.
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The peer context features prominently in theory, and increasingly in empirical research, about ethnic-racial identity (ERI) development, but no studies have assessed peer influence on ERI using methods designed to properly assess peer influence. We examined peer influence on ERI centrality, private, and public regard using longitudinal social network analysis. Data were drawn from two sites: a predominantly Latina/o Southwestern (SW) school (N = 1034; Mage = 12.10) and a diverse Midwestern (MW) school (N = 513; Mage = 11.99). Findings showed that peers influenced each other's public regard over time at both sites. However, peer influence on centrality was evident in the SW site, whereas peer influence on private regard was evident in the MW site. Importantly, peer influence was evident after controlling for selection effects. Our integration of developmental, contextual, and social network perspectives offers a fruitful approach to explicate how ERI content may shift in early adolescence as a function of peer influence.
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This chapter focuses on two important mechanisms through which racial learning occurs: children's experiences of discrimination across multiple settings and messages that children receive from parents, termed racial socialization. Notably, these two mechanisms are dynamically interdependent and deeply intertwined. Youth's discrimination experiences reflect both objective and potentially verifiable racial dynamics as well as their pre-existing expectations about, or predispositions toward, intergroup relations, the latter being partly shaped by parents' racial socialization. Parents’ racial socialization likewise emanates from, and is embedded in, systems of racial stratification and as well as in their anticipation of, or reaction to, youth's experience with these systems, including their own children's experiences of discrimination. Discrimination disrupts the process of achieving positive, respectful, and caring relationships with others. Thus, it has been associated empirically with a range of social adjustment indicators, including the quality of relationships with peers, adults, and the school community.
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Key findings from the various studies of this special section of Child Development are that ethnic identity is embedded in a positive proximal interpersonal context in adolescence and that the links between ethnic identity and the interpersonal context seem to become stronger from the beginning of early adolescence on. Remarkably, the (longitudinal) studies do not show that ethnic identity is a better predictor of developmental outcomes or that it can be better predicted in minority groups than in majority groups. I use one of the articles to demonstate that a longitudinal prediction model is different from a developmental sequence model. Finally, an extension of the present measures of ethnic identity is proposed. This extension would allow for a thorough investigation of the saliency of ethnic identity and its interplay with other identity domains during adolescent development.
Article
Previous research has established that family ethnic socialization messages promote ethnic–racial identity (ERI) development, yet it is unknown whether these effects remain constant throughout adolescence. The current study examined the time-varying effects of family ethnic socialization on ERI exploration and resolution among Latino adolescents (n = 323, Mage at T1 = 15.31, SDage = .76; 49.5% female). As adolescents progressed from middle to late adolescence, the relation between family ethnic socialization and exploration became stronger, while the relation between family ethnic socialization and resolution became weaker, with a significant difference between the magnitude of these associations emerging in late adolescence. The findings underscore the differential impact that family ethnic socialization messages can have on ERI developmental processes at different points in adolescence. In addition, the current study provides a useful illustration of how time-varying effects modeling can be used to examine how familial influences on youth development can change across developmental periods.
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The authors explored trajectories of perceived discrimination over a 6-year period (five assessments in 6th-11th grade) in relation to academic, behavioral, and psychological adjustment in 8th and 11th grades. They distinguished discrimination from adults versus peers in addition to overt versus covert discrimination from peers. The sample included 226 African American, White, Dominican, Puerto Rican, and Chinese adolescents (ages 11-12 at Time 1) recruited in sixth grade from six public schools in New York City. All forms of discrimination increased during middle school and decreased during high school. The frequency with which adolescents reported different sources and types of discrimination varied across ethnicity/race, but not gender. Initial levels and rates of change in discrimination predicted academic, behavioral, and psychological adjustment in 8th and 11th grades, albeit in complex ways.
Article
Over the last 20 years, ethnic/racial identity (ERI) has been regarded as a component central to identity for minority students, and often proposed to be positively associated with academic achievement. However, the findings of individual studies scattered across the literature suggest that the size and direction of the correlation is somewhat inconsistent, prompting the meta-analysis of 47 studies reported herein. The authors gave particular attention to specific moderator variables that might explain differences across these studies. Results demonstrated that the overall effect size for ERI and academic achievement was small but significant in the positive direction. Effect sizes varied according to participant race and the dimension of ERI used in the analysis. Theoretical and future research implications are discussed.
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We first review current literature on three ethnic–racial dynamics that are considered to be resources and stressors in the lives of ethnic-minority youth: ethnic–racial identity, socialization, and discrimination. Next, we propose that a more contextualized view of these ethnic–racial dynamics reveals that they are interdependent, inseparable, and mutually defining and that an ecological/transactional perspective on these ethnic–racial dynamics shifts researchers’ gaze from studying them as individual-level processes to studying the features of settings that produce them. We describe what is known about how identity, socialization, and discrimination occur in four microsystems—families, peers, schools, and neighborhoods—and argue that focusing on specific characteristics of these microsystems in which particular types of identity, socialization, and discrimination processes cooccur would be informative.
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This article proposes a further conceptualization of ethnic and racial identity (ERI) as a fundamental topic in developmental research. Adding to important recent efforts to conceptually integrate and synthesize this field, it is argued that ERI research will be enhanced by more fully considering the implications of the social identity approach. These implications include (a) the conceptualization of social identity, (b) the importance of identity motives, (c) systematic ways for theorizing and examining the critical role of situational and societal contexts, and (d) a dynamic model of the relation between ERI and context. These implications have not been fully considered in the developmental literature but offer important possibilities for moving the field forward in new directions.
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How positively adolescents believe others feel about their ethnic-racial group (i.e., public regard) is an important part of their ethnic-racial identity (ERI), which is likely informed by contextual and individual factors. Using cluster analyses to generate ERI statuses among Black, Latino, and White adolescents (n = 1,378), we found that associations between peer versus adult discrimination and public regard varied across ERI status and ethnic-racial group. However, among all adolescents, an achieved ERI (i.e., having explored ethnicity-race and having a clear sense about its personal meaning) buffered the negative association between adult discrimination and public regard, but not between peer discrimination and public regard. Implications for understanding the interplay between contextual and individual factors for public regard are discussed.
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Ethnic and racial minority youths in the United States are at risk for experiencing unfair treatment and other forms of marginalization based on their ethnic-racial background. The current article discusses the prevalence of perceived ethnic-racial discrimination among ethnic-racial minority children and adolescents in the United States, provides an overview of the potentially negative consequences of such experiences for youth, and explains how youths’ ethnic-racial identity may protect against the negative effects of ethnic-racial discrimination.
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IntroductionWhat We Know About Ethnic SocializationOverview of the StudyThe Salience of Ethnic-Racial Socialization to ParentsRetention of Cultural ValuesResistance Against DiscriminationPreparation for Bias:EgalitarianismPromotion of MistrustSummary and Conclusion
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This chapter describes key findings about the experience of friendships during adolescence and the influence of micro and macrocontexts on the quality of friendships. It demonstrates support for Sullivan's theory regarding the need for intimate peer relations but suggests that such a need is not limited to the preadolescent phase but extends throughout adolescence. The results also underscore the critical role of macrocontexts in adolescents' experiences of their friendships.
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The current longitudinal study tested the premise that Latino adolescents' (N = 323) proactive coping with discrimination would mediate the relationship between ethnic identity and self-esteem. Each component of ethnic identity (i.e., exploration, resolution, and affirmation) was positively associated with concurrent assessments of adolescents' self-esteem. However, in the longitudinal analyses, none of the ethnic identity components predicted future levels of self-esteem. Ethnic identity resolution was the only ethnic identity component to predict proactive coping over time. Furthermore, proactive coping did not mediate the relationship between ethnic identity and self-esteem. However, there was evidence to suggest that the association between proactive coping and self-esteem was bidirectional. These findings underscore the importance of examining the unique components of ethnic identity as well as using longitudinal designs to examine the associations between ethnic identity and adolescents' psychological well-being.
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Ethnic identity is an important component of the self-concept and, like other aspects of identity, can be particularly salient during adolescence. Most research on ethnic identity has focused on the unique elements that distinguish particular ethnic groups. However, it is important as well to study and compare ethnic identity and its correlates across groups. This article presents a questionnaire measure of ethnic identity based on the elements of ethnic identity that are common across groups, so that it can be used with all ethnic groups. The questionnaire was administered to 417 high school students and 136 college students from ethnically diverse schools. Reliability, assessed by Cronbach 's alpha, was .81 for the high school sample and .9Ofor the college sample. The relationship of ethnic identity to various demographic variables and to self-esteem was examined. The measure can be used to examine similarities and differences in ethnlic identity and its correlates among youths from different ethnic groups.
Article
Stages of ethnic identity development were assessed through in-depth interviews with 91 Asian-American, Black, Hispanic, and White tenth-grade students, all American born, from integrated urban high schools. Subjects were also given questionnaire measures of ego identity and psychological adjustment. On the basis of the interviews, minority subjects were coded as being in one of three identity stages; White subjects could not be reliably coded. Among the minorities, about one-half of the subjects had not explored their ethnicity (diffusion/foreclosure); about one-quarter were involved in exploration (moratorium); and about one-quarter had explored and were committed to an ethnic identity (ethnic identity achieved). Ethnic-identity-achieved subjects had the highest scores on an independent measure of ego identity and on psychological adjustment. The process of identity development was similar across the three minority groups, but the particular issues faced by each group were different.
Article
Studied the effects of reward magnitude and comparability of the outgroup on minimal intergroup discrimination where self-interest was related to ingroup profit. Favouritism towards own group is hypothesized to arise from intergroup comparisons to enhance self-esteem as well as instrumental rivalry for group and self-interest. Sixty-two fourteen to fifteen years' old school-boys and girls were randomly assigned to a high or low reward condition in which they distributed monetary rewards, via choice-matrices, to the ingroup and a relevant comparison outgroup, and the ingroup and an irrelevant comparison outgroup. Monetary self-interest was explicitly and directly linked to ingroup's absolute profit. Ss sacrificed group and personal gain to achieve intergroup differences in monetary outcomes favouring the ingroup; and were less fair and more discriminatory towards the relevant than irrelevant outgroup. especially with High Rewards.
Article
Longitudinal research into personal and ethnic identity has expanded considerably in the first decade of the present century. The longitudinal studies have shown that personal identity develops progressively during adolescence, but also that many individuals do not change identity, especially ethnic identity. Researchers have found rank-order stability of personal identity to be larger in adulthood than in adolescence and stability of ethnic identity to be larger in middle and late than early adolescence. Personal identity appears to progress in adulthood, as well. Adolescents with a mature identity typically show high levels of adjustment and a positive personality profile, live in warm families, and perform well at school. There is little evidence for developmental order, however, and studies instead have mainly found covariation over time between identity and the other developmental processes. The present review demonstrates that the dimensional approach to the study of identity formation can be very successful. It allows for combined variable and person-centered analyses, and for empirically generated and replicable statuses. Theoretically, the review suggests that identity formation is a less dynamic process than commonly assumed, that the identity status continuum has the order diffusion (D)→moratorium (M)→foreclosure (F)→achievement (A), that adolescents may follow two distinct sets of identity transitions on this continuum: D→F (or EC: early closure, an alternative label for foreclosure)→A or D→M→C (closure, a subtype of early closure)→A, that present identity status research offers multiple ways to study continuity of identity, and that there is no empirical proof for the assumption that exploration precedes commitment in the process of identity formation. Additionally, narrative identity research became highly visible between 2000 and 2010. The studies into narrative identity have shown that continuity of identity and coherence of the life story both grow in adolescence. Suggestions for future research are outlined.
Article
Drawing from cultural ecological models of adolescent development, the present research investigates how early adolescents received ethnic–racial socialization from parents as well as how experiences of ethnic and racial discrimination are associated with their ethnic identity (i.e., centrality, private regard, and public regard). Data for this study were drawn from a multimethod study of ethnically and socioeconomically diverse early adolescents in three mid- to high-achieving schools in New York City. After accounting for the influences of race/ethnicity, social class, gender, immigrant status, and self-esteem, parental ethnic–racial socialization was associated with higher levels of ethnic centrality (i.e., the extent to which youth identify themselves in terms of their group), more positive private regard (i.e., feelings about one's own ethnic group), and public regard (i.e., perceptions of other people's perceptions of their ethnic group). Ethnic discrimination from adults at school and from peers was associated with more negative perceptions of one's ethnic group (i.e., public regard). In addition, the association of ethnic–racial parent socialization and ethnic identity beliefs was stronger for those who reported higher levels of adult discrimination. Results highlight key ways in which ethnic identity may be shaped by the social ecologies in which adolescents are embedded.
Article
Maxwell and Cole (2007)26. Maxwell , S. E. and Cole , D. A. 2007. Bias in cross-sectional analyses of longitudinal mediation. Psychological Methods, 12: 23–44. [CrossRef], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®]View all references showed that cross-sectional approaches to mediation typically generate substantially biased estimates of longitudinal parameters in the special case of complete mediation. However, their results did not apply to the more typical case of partial mediation. We extend their previous work by showing that substantial bias can also occur with partial mediation. In particular, cross-sectional analyses can imply the existence of a substantial indirect effect even when the true longitudinal indirect effect is zero. Thus, a variable that is found to be a strong mediator in a cross-sectional analysis may not be a mediator at all in a longitudinal analysis. In addition, we show that very different combinations of longitudinal parameter values can lead to essentially identical cross-sectional correlations, raising serious questions about the interpretability of cross-sectional mediation data. More generally, researchers are encouraged to consider a wide variety of possible mediation models beyond simple cross-sectional models, including but not restricted to autoregressive models of change.