Examining the Relation Between Ethnic Identity and Competence Among Latino Early Adolescents
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Adolescence is an important period of time to study ethnic identity because it is when adolescents begin to have the cognitive maturity to evaluate their sense of self as it relates to their ethnic membership. Furthermore, strong ethnic identity has been linked to positive outcomes among Latino adolescents. Using data from 282 Latino sixth graders in a south central city (53 % female), the central goal of this study was to examine the relationships between aspects of ethnic identity (i.e., private regard and public regard) and physical, academic, and social competence. Findings revealed a significant main effect for gender and a significant interaction between gender and ethnic identity-public regard in predicting competence, such that males were more likely to report higher levels of competence than females. Furthermore, higher levels of ethnic identity-public regard predicted higher levels of competence among males than among females. Future research should consider a longitudinal design to consider bidirectional relationships and changes over time.