Development of Ethnic Identity among American College Students of Asian Indian Descent

  • Naveen Mehrotra Shri Krishna Nidhi Foundation
  • Nayan Mehrotra BS Psychology, Seton Hall University.
  • Anna Petrova Professor, Pediatrics, Rutgers- Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
Keywords: Ethnic Identify, College Students, Youth, Adolescence, Asian Indians


Objectives: Ethnic identity is a cultural self-concept associated with formation of social identity and psychological well-being as well as academic performance of diverse population of college- age students. This study was designed to identify factors associated with ethnic identify formation among American college students of the Asian Indian descent. Methods: College students who participated in the Association of Indians and South Asian social networks were surveyed. In addition to demographic, family and culture-related behavior questions, Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure (MEIM) instrument was used to identify parameters that characterized the development of ethnic identity: total score, search, and affirmation, belonging, and commitment (ABC). Regression model was used to identify factors associated with formation of ethnic identity of the studied youth. Result: Almost all respondents were born in the U.S. from the monoethnical Asian Indian families. The total ethnic identify scores were higher if the participants reported using native language at home, attendance at a religious/cultural Sunday school and dance and/or ethnic music classes, visitation of the parent’s country of origin in addition to the father’s religious and parental membership/leadership in the ethnic/ religious organizations. Participation in dance and or/ethnic music classes and use of native language at home was strongly associated with formation of ethnic identity. Conclusion: Participation in cultural and ethnic events as well as paternal religion and use of native language are major factors that impact exploration and commitment stages of ethnic identity formation that should be addressed in professional psychological counseling of American youth of Asian Indian descent.

How to cite this article:

Mehrotra N, Mehrotra N, Petrova A. Development of Ethnic Identity among American College Students of Asian Indian Descent. Ind J Youth Adol Health 2020; 7(1): 7-14.



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