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Presentation Type

Poster

Keywords

identity development, life satisfaction, emerging adulthood, multicultural, third culture kids, ethnic identity, heritage culture, acculturation

Department

Psychology

Major

Psychology

Abstract

We investigated life satisfaction and identity development in emerging adult (age 18-30) monocultural European American individuals, multicultural individuals, and Third Culture Kids (TCKs). TCKs are defined as individuals who lived for a significant amount of their developmental years in a country that their parents did not grow up in and that has a culture different from that of their parents’ native country. We hypothesized that in emerging adulthood TCKs and multicultural individuals experience (1) less life satisfaction and (2) different levels of identity exploration and commitment compared to monocultural European American individuals. Amazon Mechanical Turk workers were screened to qualify for one of the three populations, and qualified workers voluntarily took the 5-to-10-minute study survey. Data was collected from 81 qualified workers and analyzed using one-way Analysis of Variance tests on life satisfaction and identity status score means to determine significant difference. No significant differences in life satisfaction were found. Significant differences were found for identity status but not as expected. Only the TCK group scored significantly lower than the monocultural group in identity exploration. Only the multicultural group scored significantly lower than the monocultural group in identity commitment. Overall, it appears that TCKs and multicultural individuals are exploring identity less and committing to an identity less than monocultural individuals. Ethnic identity salience and acculturation to mainstream culture were also analyzed for significant differences amongst the three populations. Such characteristics may influence identity exploration and commitment.

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Steven V. Rouse

Funding Source or Research Program

Academic Year Undergraduate Research Initiative

Presentation Session

Session B

Start Date

23-4-2021 4:15 PM

End Date

23-4-2021 4:30 PM

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Apr 23rd, 4:15 PM Apr 23rd, 4:30 PM

Ego-Identity Status and Life Satisfaction in Emerging Adult Third Culture Kids and Individuals with Multicultural Identities

We investigated life satisfaction and identity development in emerging adult (age 18-30) monocultural European American individuals, multicultural individuals, and Third Culture Kids (TCKs). TCKs are defined as individuals who lived for a significant amount of their developmental years in a country that their parents did not grow up in and that has a culture different from that of their parents’ native country. We hypothesized that in emerging adulthood TCKs and multicultural individuals experience (1) less life satisfaction and (2) different levels of identity exploration and commitment compared to monocultural European American individuals. Amazon Mechanical Turk workers were screened to qualify for one of the three populations, and qualified workers voluntarily took the 5-to-10-minute study survey. Data was collected from 81 qualified workers and analyzed using one-way Analysis of Variance tests on life satisfaction and identity status score means to determine significant difference. No significant differences in life satisfaction were found. Significant differences were found for identity status but not as expected. Only the TCK group scored significantly lower than the monocultural group in identity exploration. Only the multicultural group scored significantly lower than the monocultural group in identity commitment. Overall, it appears that TCKs and multicultural individuals are exploring identity less and committing to an identity less than monocultural individuals. Ethnic identity salience and acculturation to mainstream culture were also analyzed for significant differences amongst the three populations. Such characteristics may influence identity exploration and commitment.