Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Rosalie Corona


The current study evaluated the factor analytic structure and developmental trajectory of ethnic identity, as measured by the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure, (MEIM) among early rural adolescents. The convergent validity of the measure for rural youth was also examined. The sample for this study was drawn from a larger longitudinal study focusing on violence prevention efforts with an early adolescent sample residing in rural Florida. The final sample size for these secondary analyses was 5,695 participants. The sample was 53 % Caucasian, 24% Latino, 15% African American, and 8% Other. The mean age of the students was 11.3 years. Data were collected at seven time points. A confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was conducted with the entire sample to determine whether a two-factor model was a satisfactory fit for the entire sample at Times 1-7. Individual growth curve modeling was used to determine ethnic identity trajectories. This study demonstrated that the MEIM taps into two factors (Exploration and Commitment) for rural adolescents. Moreover, the findings demonstrated multigroup equivalence across waves 1-7 of data collection for the Caucasian, African American, and Latino groups. Further, results from the growth curve modeling procedures indicated that Caucasian participants demonstrated a greater increase in Exploration relative to Latino and African American participants. Lastly, results from the convergent validity analyses indicated that Commitment was negatively related to attitudes towards violence and positively related towards attitudes towards nonviolence. Implications for future research and prevention programs that incorporate ethnic identity constructs are discussed.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

December 2010

Included in

Psychology Commons