Japanese American Biracial Adolescents and Identity Formation

Date of Award


Degree Name



Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Anthony Bandele

First Committee Member

Jeff King

Second Committee Member

Len Tamura


Biracial Japanese American teens; Identity development; Case study; Adolescents


The purpose of the current paper is to examine the racial identity development of Japanese American biracial adolescents. A review of the literature revealed critical factors as it relates to Japanese American biracial adolescents and their identity formation. Ethnic identity, adolescent developmental stage, environmental ethnic socialization processes used to facilitate identity development, and the resulting psychological adjustment were the major issues identified in the literature. Educators, counselors and other mental health professionals must begin to understand their development if the needs of this population are to be met in the future. A case study of a biracial Japanese American teen was included to heighten the understanding of the identity development of biracial individuals. Findings indicate that biracial children who are raised to identify with both sides of their ethnic heritage are not suffering from negative psychological consequences (e.g. guilt, anger, isolation) but, instead, gain a "healthier" sense of self. Implications for clinicians are discussed in terms of how therapists can be responsive to the unique needs of biracial adolescents.


Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.


76 pages

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