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Exploration of Ethnic Identity Development Among Second-Generation Vietnamese American Adolescents

Mon, April 20, 2:15 to 3:45pm, Virtual Room

Abstract

Previous research shows that children of new immigrants in the United States face many conflicts as they develop their identities. Some of these conflicts are inter-generational and other peer-related, as adolescents seek integration into American mainstream culture. This qualitative study examines the development of ethnic identity in second-generation Vietnamese American adolescents. Data collection was in the form of focus group and individual interviews, observations, and free listing, of eleven Vietnamese American adolescents and two parents, at their homes and at a Buddhist Youth Program. The results show that within a structured youth program that validates their individuality, ethnic minority youths can develop a healthy sense of ethnic identity; and in the process, mitigate socio-cultural and intergenerational conflicts.

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