One of the most promising areas in cross-cultural psychology is the development of identity among various ethnic groups in the United States. This article has a twofold purpose. First, it offers the concept of ethnic identity as defined and studied within the social sciences — sociology, anthropology, and psychology — including a review of some of the recent work on ethnic identity development proposed by leading investigators in the field of psychology. The author discusses their generalizability across ethnic groups. Second, it presents a number of dimensions considered important in conceptualizing and studying Hispanic ethnic identity development. These include acculturation, the notion of biculturalism, and gender and generational differences. Implications for mental health practitioners and recommendations in the area of public policy are discussed.



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