: A review of research. The scant research that does exist on the topic seems to align with Eriksons original theories of how identity statuses should be related to psychological adjustment. This combination of age, life experiences, and improved cognitive skills helps adolescents and young adults find their authentic selves. 18 This process recognizes that feelings about ones ethnic group(s) can be influenced by family, peers, community, and larger society. 17 Although achievement represents the highest level of ethnic identity development, it should be noted that Phinney believes reexamination can occur depending on experiences over time. As such, since the identity clusters were created using standardized scores, there were possible ceiling effects for how high adolescents could score relative to the mean. 14 Adolescents with strong commitments to their ethnic identities also tend to explore these identities more than their peers. In addition to ethnic identity being more salient across situations, adolescents with more advanced ethnic identity statuses (i.e., relatively high levels of exploration and/or commitment) are hypothesized to report feeling better about their ethnic identity (i.e., private regard) when ethnic identity is salient. A cluster consistent with a diffused identity (i.e., low exploration, low commitment was the smallest of the 4 clusters (N 40; ).
3 More recently, Phinney has focused on the continuous dimensions of one's exploration and commitment to one's ethnic group(s rather than on distinct identity statuses. Highlighting the limitations of the current study can help outline direction for future work.
Ethnic identity has been linked with positive self-evaluation 17 and self-esteem. For example, the notion of salience measures the relevance of ethnic identity at a particular point in time as a function of the interaction between a persons cross-situationally stable characteristics (in this case, ethnic identity status) and the immediate environment. Importantly, with a sample including adolescents (ages 1317) through adults (ages 1878 the study was able to security Issues on Internet Use examine if there was support for the theorized developmental sequence in identity statuses by exploring differences in identity status membership according to age. Table 3 HLM Estimates of Private Regard as Predicted by Ethnic Identity Awareness of Salience and Moderated by Identity Status and Centrality B SE Situation-level Private Regard (L1) B00, G000.48*.23 Stable Centrality (L2) B01, G010.35*.16 Stable Private Regard (L2) B02, G020. The results suggested that a 2-factor model fit better than a 1-factor model and that each of the commitment and centrality items loaded on to their respective scales ( 2 132.26, df 1,.01, rmsea.80, CFI.90). Engagement in some form of exploration includes an interest in learning more about one's culture and actively involving oneself in activities such as talking with others about ethnicity, reading books on the subject, and thinking about both the current and future effects of one's ethnicity. Although the study includes intensive repeated measures, the cross-sectional nature of the data leave open the question of how identity development status and content are related over time. Journal of Research on Adolescence (Blackwell Publishing Limited 21(1 47-60.