Ethnic Identity among Second-Generation Vietnamese American Adolescents

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  • Tham Thithu Tran University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • Elizabeth Bifuh-Ambe University of Massachusetts Lowell



Biculturalism, conflicts, ethnic identity, mitigation


Prior research shows that minority youths face many challenges as they develop their ethnic identity. These challenges include cultural conflicts (between home and school), language conflicts, and intergenerational conflicts. These conflicts may cause negative impacts on adolescents’ self-identification, mental health, behavioral patterns, and tensions in family relationships. This qualitative study examines the development of ethnic identity in second-generation Vietnamese American adolescents. Data collection took place in the form of focus groups, individual interviews, observations, and free listing of eleven Vietnamese American adolescents and two parents at their homes and at a Buddhist youth program. The results suggest that within a structured youth program that validates their individuality, ethnic minority youths can develop a healthy sense of ethnic identity; and in the process, socio-cultural and intergenerational conflicts can be mitigated.


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How to Cite

Tran, T. T., & Bifuh-Ambe, E. (2021). Ethnic Identity among Second-Generation Vietnamese American Adolescents. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies, 8(2), 167–186.



Original Manuscript
Received 2020-10-26
Accepted 2021-03-31
Published 2021-04-04