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Ethnic Identity and the Daily Psychological Well-Being of Adolescents From Mexican and Chinese Backgrounds


  • This study was supported by a grant from the Russell Sage Foundation awarded to the third author. Preparation of this manuscript was supported, in part, by a National Institute of Mental Health Family Research Consortium IV Postdoctoral Fellowship.

concerning this article should be addressed to Lisa Kiang, Department of Psychology, Wake Forest University, P.D. 7778, Winston-Salem, NC 27109. Electronic mail may be sent to


Protective effects of ethnic identity on daily psychological well-being were examined in a sample of 415 ninth graders from Mexican and Chinese backgrounds. Utilizing daily diary assessments and multilevel modeling, adolescents with a greater regard for their ethnic group exhibited greater levels of daily happiness and less daily anxiety averaged over the 2-week study period. Ethnic regard moderated the daily association between normative stressful demands and happiness, and between stressful demands and happiness experienced 1 day after stressors occurred. Moderating effects were significant even after controlling for self-esteem. Although no buffering effects of ethnic centrality were found, the results point to the positive influence of ethnic regard in the daily lives of adolescents from ethnic minority backgrounds.