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Ying, Y. Lee, P.A. (2006). The Contribution of Ethnic and American Identities to the Migrant's Self-esteem: An Empirical Investigation. Int. J. Appl. Psychoanal. Stud., 3(1):39-50.

(2006). International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 3(1):39-50

The Contribution of Ethnic and American Identities to the Migrant's Self-esteem: An Empirical Investigation

Yu-Wen Ying and Peter Allen Lee

A psychoanalytic theory of migration postulates that migrants undergo a psychic restructuring which necessitates refueling by the culture of origin and/or its representatives (such as parents). During this time, ethnic identity is central to the migrant's self-esteem. With completion of the mourning processes, the migrant is psychically freed up to also identify with the new country. Over time, the new hybrid identity is consolidated, so that self-esteem is no longer determined by cultural or national identities. The current study empirically tested this postulation in three groups of Chinese migrants who varied in available resources in completing their psychic restructuring. As hypothesized, the function of Chinese and American identities in their self-esteem varied significantly at the time of the study and reflected differential degrees of post-migration identity consolidation.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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