Mixed Ancestry Racial/Ethnic Identity Development (MAREID) Model

Mixed Ancestry Racial/Ethnic Identity Development (MAREID) Model

Wellesley Centers for Women

Peony Fhagen-Smith, Assistant Professor of Psychology
Wheaton College, Norton Massachusetts

To date no theoretical work on racial/ethnic identity development adequately provides a framework for explaining current empirical findings concerning racial/ethnic identification among mixed ancestry youth. This paper reviews current research on the mixed ancestry experience and proposes a mixed ancestry racial/ethnic identity development model that incorporates Rockquemore and Brunsma’s (2002) work on mixed ancestry identity types, Cross and Fhagen-Smith’s (1996, 2001) life-span model of Black identity development, Cross’s (1991) Nigrescence theory, Phinney’s (1989) Ethnic Identity Development Model and Erikson’s (1968) and Marcia’s (1980) work on ego identity development. The proposed model considers contextual influences, fluidity in racial/ethnic identification, and developmental changes over time for three developmental age periods, preadolescence, adolescence, and young adulthood.

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