Identity development among ethnic minority youth integrating findings from studies in Europe

Rasa Erentaitė , Lyda Lannegrand-Willems, Oana Negru-Subtirica, Rimantas Vosylis, Jolanta Sondaitė, Saulė Raižienė

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Abstract

In the context of increasing ethnic diversity in many European countries, a successful development and integration of ethnic minority youth becomes a central concern for the future of Europe. It is particularly important to understand specific challenges and opportunities related to identity development among ethnic minority youth. The aim of this review is to integrate recent findings on identity development among ethnic minority youth in Europe. We identified three crosscutting themes in the literature. The “intensified identity work” approach suggests that ethnic minority youth are more engaged in identity work compared to their mainstream peers. The “diverging identity outcomes” themes represents a discussion on the opposite outcomes of identity development among ethnic minority youth. The “third way or hybrid identity” approach suggests that ethnic minority youth can build on globalization and other cultural resources, as well as on their own developmental flexibility to form novel, adaptive patterns of identity. We discuss the complementarity of the three approaches and suggest directions for further studies with ethnic minority youth. We also show how the findings of this review can help practitioners and policy makers in Europe to support ethnic minority youth in their identity development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-335
JournalEuropean Psychologist
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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Keywords

  • identity, youth, Europe, ethnic minorities, immigrant

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