HPR_18_21.pdf 1.97 MB
The process of ethnic identity development of Japanese Third Culture Kids experienced cross-cultural transition during school-age
The experience of transferring from one culture to another during childhood can represent a crisis of identity for some individuals. "Third Culture Kids" are children who grew up outside their parents' culture during their developmental years, leading them to develop a third cultural perspective. Previous studies have reported that the experience of transferring to different culture is often accompanied by identity-related difficulties. Ethnic identity is an aspect of collective identity that plays a particularly important role among members of cultural minority groups. Stable ethnic identity can help members of cultural minorities form identities and maintain stable mental health. Family relationships also play an important role in identity. The main aim of the current study is to discuss the developmental process of ethnic identity among people in Japan who experienced a cross-cultural transition during school age. The results revealed two important characteristics for adaptation and the development of identity: a stable environment, including family relationships, and having a concept of ethnic identity from early childhood. The current findings suggested that cross-cultural experience may affect the order of developmental stages. Since cross-cultural experience involves a difference between the self and others, children in ethnic minorities may differentiate themselves from other children before adolescence while living in a host culture, and may identify with other third culture kids after returning to their home culture.