The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between ethnic identity and friendships in a sample of multi-ethnic individuals in emerging adulthood (18 to 29 years old). This study utilized a quantitative approach via an electronic survey measuring four main concepts: (1) integration of ethnic identity, (2) friendship maintenance characteristics, (3) relationship closeness, and (4) expression of ethnic identity with a close friend. Findings showed that the friendship maintenance characteristic openness is significantly related to relationship closeness. Additionally, expression of ethnic identity is an important factor to consider as it was highly correlated to integration of ethnic identity, relationship closeness, and the friendship maintenance characteristics openness and supportiveness. Overall, participants expressed conflict about establishing their multi-ethnic identity while feeling pressure to constantly prove their ethnic identity. These findings reflect participants’ struggles while highlighting the importance of having a friend who is open to the intricacies of one’s ethnic identity. Further research should continue to explore how ethnic identity is discussed among friends and how one’s multi-ethnic identity functions in relation to other parts of one’s identity.


Garcia, Amber

Second Advisor

Johnson, Michelle


Communication Studies; Psychology


Critical and Cultural Studies | Multicultural Psychology


multi-ethnic, friendships, emerging adulthood

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2020 Mia Palmejar-Takaki