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Black Adolescent Identity Development: Effects of Perceived Family Structure

Marlene F. Watson and Howard O. Protinsky
Family Relations
Vol. 37, No. 3 (Jul., 1988), pp. 288-292
DOI: 10.2307/584564
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/584564
Page Count: 5
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Black Adolescent Identity Development: Effects of Perceived Family Structure
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Abstract

This study assesses the predictive relationship between black adolescent identity development and family structure after controlling for demographic and personality variables. The study further explores the assumption that adolescents with balanced levels of family cohesion and adaptability have higher degrees of ego identity. Two hundred thirty-seven adolescents completed self-report measures of ego identity, self-esteem, and family structure. The data are only partially successful in demonstrating that family structure has predictive utility for ego identity development and find a general lack of relationship between balanced levels of cohesion and adaptability and high ego identity. The results suggest that there are other mediating factors in ego identity development not yet explored and call into question the Circumplex Model of family functioning for black families. Implications for family therapists and family life educators are discussed.

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