An Examination of Ethnic and Family Identity Development among African Americans Connecting with Genetic Relatives from Africa: IntroductionCategory: Social Science | Introduction
Aug. 30, 2021, 9:37 a.m.
African Americans are increasingly using genetic genealogy to go beyond the vague estimates of ancestral ethnicities to identify genetic matches with people who are within two generations of migration from Africa or who still live on the African continent. An African and African American genetic match engaging with one another as relatives presents an emerging situation that challenges our understanding of families and identity. This study used grounded theory methods to develop a grounded theory on family identity development and ethnic identity development among African Americans who engaged in social interactions with their African genetic relatives. The objectives of this study are to examine (1) the familial and ethnic meanings of relatedness with an African genetic match, (2) the processes of family and ethnic identity development within the context of ancestral family reunification, and (3) psychological outcomes associated with family and ethnic identity development within the context of ancestral family reunification. Examining the collective experiences of the participants of this study, participants felt (1) a sense of lack in African ancestral history and (2) an evolving ethnic identity while (3) recognizing relatedness, and (4) managing many emotions associated with the experience. New family forms are taking shape through emerging African transnational families which provides a new social context for the ethnic identity development for African American adults.[Read more]