Date of Award:

2005

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Advisor/Chair:

Shelley L. Knudsen Lindauer

Abstract

This study sought to examine the relationship between ethnic identity and the grade and gender of the subjects. Changes in ethnic identity over time were also analyzed. Students attending grades four through eight of the Nyssa Migrant School summer program participated in this study. One hundred twenty-four participants completed the pretest, eighty-nine completed the posttest, with a total of seventy-nine completing both the pretest and posttest. Students responded to the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure, which examined the subcategories of belonging and exploration to comprise the overall ethnic identity level.

Scores were compared by grade and by gender at pretest and at posttest. Scores were also examined in those same subgroups for a change over time in the 79 subjects completing both the pretest and posttest. Though not statistically significant, results indicated a trend for males as a whole to show a greater increase in overall ethnic identity over the course of the summer school program than their female counterparts. Results also showed an increase (although not statistically significant) in ethnic identity for the group as a whole over the course of the six-week program, warranting further investigation into the summer program's effectiveness for enhancing ethnic identity. This aforementioned increase was more pronounced in children in the older grades, supporting a developmental progression of ethnic identity. At both the pretest and posttest, adjusted means for belonging were statistically significantly higher than those for exploration, F(l, 77) = 171.03,p = .000; F(l, 77) = 141.12,p = .000, respectively. Implications of these findings for future programs and future research are discussed.