Student: Mia Palmejar-Takaki
Majors: Psychology, Communication Studies
Advisors: Dr. Amber Garcia, Dr. Michelle Johnson
The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between ethnic identity and friendships in a sample of multi-ethnic individuals in emerging adulthood (18 to 29 years old). This study utilized a quantitative approach via an electronic survey measuring four main concepts: (1) integration of ethnic identity, (2) friendship maintenance characteristics, (3) relationship closeness, and (4) expression of ethnic identity with a close friend. Findings showed that the friendship maintenance characteristic openness is significantly related to relationship closeness. Additionally, expression of ethnic identity is an important factor to consider as it was highly correlated to integration of ethnic identity, relationship closeness, and the friendship maintenance characteristics openness and supportiveness. Overall, participants expressed conflict about establishing their multi-ethnic identity while feeling pressure to constantly prove their ethnic identity. These findings reflect participants’ struggles while highlighting the importance of having a friend who is open to the intricacies of one’s ethnic identity. Further research should continue to explore how ethnic identity is discussed among friends and how one’s multi-ethnic identity functions in relation to other parts of one’s identity.
Mia will be online to field comments on May 8:
Noon-2pm EDT (PST 9am-11am, Africa/Europe: early evening)