The Role of Ethnic Identity and Self-Construal in Coping among African American and Caucasian American Seventh Graders: An Exploratory Analysis of Within-Group Variance

By Zaff, Jonathan F.; Blount, Ronald L. et al. | Adolescence, Winter 2002 | Go to article overview

The Role of Ethnic Identity and Self-Construal in Coping among African American and Caucasian American Seventh Graders: An Exploratory Analysis of Within-Group Variance


Zaff, Jonathan F., Blount, Ronald L., Phillips, Layli, Cohen, Lindsey, Adolescence


The present study explored the relationship of ethnicity and ethnic identity to coping strategy use. Most coping research to date has focused on Caucasian American adults. Few studies have examined the role of race or ethnicity in coping, and even fewer have examined these factors in children and adolescents (Phinney & Chavira, 1995). In a review of the adolescent coping literature conducted by Rosella (1994), nearly half the studies cited failed even to report information on the racial composition of their samples. Among those studies that did report race or ethnicity, non-White groups were found to be underrepresented. The failure to report such data or include diverse participants may have indicated a lack of awareness on the part of many researchers regarding the role of race and ethnicity in psychological behavior and mental health or, perhaps more alarmingly, an assumption that the psychological and behavioral profiles of Caucasian Americans are universal. Recognizing the dearth of multiracial studies, the National Institutes of Health (1994) now requires the inclusion of ethnic minorities in all studies.

In addition to the dearth of research addressing ethnicity and coping, there are two primary drawbacks in previous investigations in this area. First, most multiethnic coping research has used one- or two-item self-report measures to determine ethnicity. However, ethnicity is a complex construct that cannot be assessed meaningfully using one-or two-item measures; preferable is the assessment of ethnicity along multiple, continuous dimensions (Phinney, 1996). Second, previous research typically relied on only a single situation when assessing coping strategies. As Lazarus and Folkman (1984) found, however, coping is a process that changes according to the demands of the situation. Therefore, a cross-situational approach could be more effective at capturing the nature of coping efforts directed at different aspects of a person's life. The present study examined the coping strategies of both Caucasian American and African American youth using a multiethnic, cross-situational design. Such research may suggest a l ink between individual behavior and the influences of ethnicity (Diaz-Guerrero, 1979).

Race, Ethnicity, and Culture

Definitions of race and ethnicity have been hotly contested by psychological researchers and theorists. In 1978, the Federal Office of Management and Budget specified the categorization of race and ethnicity through a directive that was meant to standardize data collection among U.S. government agencies (Jenkins & Parron, 1995). Nevertheless, such standardization has been difficult for researchers because the criteria used to define racial or ethnic group membership have varied among groups, both within the scientific and legal communities and within the general population. The term race has assumed its primary meaning within the context of Black-White relations in the U.S. and abroad, typically between European nations and their former colonial subjects (Harrison, 1995). The term ethnicity, on the other hand, has emerged primarily within the social sciences to encompass and equalize the multiplicity of peoples originating from differing national and cultural backgrounds (Harrison, 1998) Thus, ethnicity encom passes race, yet, paradoxically, underdetermines it.

Historically, the term race has referenced largely physiognomic distinctions between people, with the concomitant assumption that social or psychological differences are rooted in biological differences (Guthrie, 1998). The term ethnicity, on the other hand, which achieved ascendancy within the field of anthropology (Montagu, 1942; Harrison, 1995, 1998), has implicitly referenced culture from the outset. The recognition that lines of cultural difference often overlap closely with lines of physiognomic difference has, perhaps, been responsible for the frequent, albeit erroneous, conflation and interchange of the terms ethnicity and race. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Role of Ethnic Identity and Self-Construal in Coping among African American and Caucasian American Seventh Graders: An Exploratory Analysis of Within-Group Variance
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.