Ethnic Identity and Ethnicity-Related Stress in Accompanied and Unaccompanied Adolescent Immigrants: Does the Family Work as Social Capital for Adolescent Immigrants?


This study assesses the ethnic identity and ethnicity-related stress for adolescent immigrants accompanied by their families, for unaccompanied adolescent immigrants and for native (German) adolescents. Seventy adolescents completed the Ethnic Group Membership Questionnaire and the Perceived Ethnic Discrimination Questionnaire. Results show that unaccompanied adolescent immigrants (n = 20) report more negative private feelings about their own ethnic identity, lower beliefs about the public’s regard for their ethnic group and more ethnicity-related stress in the dimensions “perceived ethnic discrimination”, “stereotype confirmation concern” and “own-group conformity pressure” than accompanied adolescent immigrants (n = 25) and German adolescents (n = 25). Accompanied adolescent immigrants revealed higher scores than German adolescents only in the dimension “perceived ethnic discrimination”. Results support the hypothesis derived from the theory of social capital that for the accompanied adolescent immigrants, the family works as social capital, reduces ethnicity-related stress, and promotes the development of a positive ethnic identity.

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Petersen, L. , Dünnbier, U. & Morgenroth, O. (2012). Ethnic Identity and Ethnicity-Related Stress in Accompanied and Unaccompanied Adolescent Immigrants: Does the Family Work as Social Capital for Adolescent Immigrants?. Psychology, 3, 370-377. doi: 10.4236/psych.2012.34052.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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