Mental Health Outcomes of Ethnic Identity and Acculturation Among British-born Children of Immigrants from Turkey

Duygu Cavdar, Shelley McKeown, Jo Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
182 Downloads (Pure)


Identity development can be challenging for adolescents, particularly those from immigrant families who are required to make sense of their identity whilst accommodating themselves into different cultures. For second-generation ethnic minority adolescents, these identity formation processes may range from harmony/effectiveness to conflict/stress, having consequences for acculturation and for mental health. Focusing on an underexplored area of research, the present study aimed to examine the relationships between ethnic identity, acculturation orientations and mental health outcomes among second-generation Turkish adolescents (16-18 years old) in England. Data were collected using a self-report survey (N=220) and analysed using Structural Equation Modelling. Results demonstrated that ethnic identity was positively associated with positive mental health and that each ethnic identity component (exploration, resolution, affirmation) was differently associated with life satisfaction, self-esteem, psychological well-being and depression. Ethnic identity was also positively related to separation and negatively to marginalisation whilst no relationships were observed between integration, separation or marginalisation and mental health. Mediation analysis determined that ethnic identity was negatively associated with assimilation and in turn, more positive mental health. Findings demonstrate the complexity of understanding the nature and effects of ethnic identity for second-generation adolescents and have important implications for theory and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-161
Number of pages21
JournalNew Directions for Child and Adolescent Development
Issue number176
Early online date8 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2021

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© 2021 Wiley Periodicals LLC.


  • ethnic identity
  • acculturation
  • mental health
  • second-generation youth
  • Turkish immigrants


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