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  1. Background

In existing models exploring the formation cultural identity, there is emphasis on development from the perspective of race or country of origin. While these models have made significant contributions to the study of identity development in the fields of counseling and psychology, research on the identity development of people who exist within the spectrum between traditionally acknowledged identities (Deaf/Hearing, LGBTQIA+, first/second generation) is lacking.

  1. Methods

To explore the merit of establishing a distinct theory exploring development of individuals whose identities exist between the existing binaries of identity, a systematic review and analysis of current literature was performed. Subsequently, a framework for marginal identity to address present gaps in literature was developed. The information from the review was integrated, and a hypothesis based on the framework was formed. Data from recent studies on multicultural/marginal development was gathered to corroborate or refute this hypothesis.

  1. Results

The Marginal/Multicultural Identity Model developed by Reid et al. addresses groups that exist in the “in between” of the continuum of identity. Building on previous models of identity development, this model addresses the fluid and nonlinear nature of identity, as well as the impact of environmental, personal, physical, and intersectional factors, while also considering the knowledge and skills required in a given culture.

4. Conclusion

This model has potential to address a missing element in counseling practice: addressing the needs of people who find themselves "between" different cultures. Further research is needed to test the effectiveness of the model in actual clinical trials.

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cultural, identity, development, model, bicultural, multiple culture, multicultural


Community Health | Counseling | Counselor Education | Mental and Social Health | Multicultural Psychology | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychology

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VCU Graduate Research Posters

A Marginal Identity Model for those in the