Ethnic and Racial Identity

Kevin O. Cokley and Beverly J. Vandiver

in The Oxford Handbook of Counseling Psychology

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780195342314
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Ethnic and Racial Identity

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This chapter discusses the significance of racial and ethnic identity to the work of counseling psychologists and surveys historical and contemporary models of ethnic and racial identity. Many racial identity models, including white identity, minority identity, and people of color racial identity, were greatly influenced by the developmental thrust of early black identity models, in particular the Nigrescence model. Ethnic identity models were influenced by social identity theory as well as by developmental theories. The reliable and valid measurement of ethnic and racial identity remains an area of great interest and concern. Ethnic and racial identity are complex, multidimensional constructs whose influences are just starting to be understood. Nevertheless, there remains much to learn about the mechanisms through which ethnic and racial identity influence behavior and well-being.

Keywords: racial identity; ethnic identity; black identity; white identity; minority identity; people of color; nigrescence

Article.  27358 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Counselling Psychology

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