ELPS 433: Synthesis Project

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<ul><li><p>8/12/2019 ELPS 433: Synthesis Project</p><p> 1/20</p><p>Running Head: AN INTRICATE TAPESTRY OF DEVELOPMENT 1</p><p>An Intricate Tapestry of Development: A Review of Latino/a College Student Development</p><p>Roy Rodriguez</p><p>Loyola University Chicago</p></li><li><p>8/12/2019 ELPS 433: Synthesis Project</p><p> 2/20</p><p>AN INTRICATE TAPESTRY OF DEVELOPMENT 2</p><p>In an extensive review of the literature on Latino/a college identity development, little</p><p>nor diverse information arises. As I scoured the Internet and library article databases, few results</p><p>deviating from the typical topics of undocumented students, immigration reform, and poverty</p><p>came up. This was alarming because as a self-identified Latino, such results indicated to me that</p><p>little attention is given to Latino/as in higher education and how even less attention has been</p><p>given to how Latino/a students develop through the highly formative college years. In this paper</p><p>I seek to understand how Latino/a college students develop through college as researched by the</p><p>few scholars that I was able to find and to advocate for how imperative it is that more research be</p><p>conducted to gather a holistic view of Latino/a college student development in order to provide</p><p>better services and support systems for these students in higher education (Castillo, Conoley,</p><p>Choi-Pearson, Archuleta, Phoummarath, and Van Landingham, 2006; Torres, 2003). Although</p><p>the termLatinoin traditional language conventions in Spanish is reflective of both the male and</p><p>female gender, for the purpose of this assignment, I will attempt to make a conscious effort to</p><p>use the termLatino/a, Latino/asso as to be mindful of the gender diversity that is represented</p><p>within this particular community. The limitation in utilizing the term in this way, however, is</p><p>that it does not intuitively encompass the appropriate term for individuals who may identify as</p><p>transgender or gender non-conforming (Gallegos &amp; Ferdman, 2007).</p><p>Latino/as in American Higher Education: An emerging Population</p><p>Latino/as have consistently been one of the fastest growing ethnic populations in the</p><p>United States in the new millennium with the population increasing by about 57.9% from 1990</p><p>to 2000 (Gallegos &amp; Ferdman, 2007; Guardia &amp; Evans, 2008; Hernandez, 2002; Longerbeam,</p><p>Sedlacek, &amp; Alatorre, 2004; Ojeda, Navarro, Rosales Meza, &amp; Arbona, 2012; Torres &amp;</p><p>Hernandez, 2007; Torres, 2003). However, despite this healthy and consistent increase in overall</p></li><li><p>8/12/2019 ELPS 433: Synthesis Project</p><p> 3/20</p></li><li><p>8/12/2019 ELPS 433: Synthesis Project</p><p> 4/20</p><p>AN INTRICATE TAPESTRY OF DEVELOPMENT 4</p><p>social category that has such a strong influence on their identity and reconstruct various meaning</p><p>making processes (Gallegos &amp; Ferdman, 2007).</p><p>Intricately Weaving in Racial and Ethnic Identity</p><p>It is not an effective method to examine the various dimensions of student development</p><p>as separate from s students racial or ethnic identity when looking at Latino/a college students in</p><p>particular (Torres &amp; Baxter Magolda; 2004; Torres; 2003). Instead, it is critical to observe how</p><p>these students move through developmental tasks from an integrative perspective. For the</p><p>purposes of this assignment, while I do examine how Latino/a college students move through the</p><p>various dimensions of development separately, I continuously look at this movement with the</p><p>added lens of ethnic and racial identity (Pope, 2000). I take on this approach because it is</p><p>imperative that student affairs practitioners have a well-developed understanding of racial and</p><p>ethnic identity and their impact on the development of students of color so as to be able to</p><p>provide them with the best support and services possible. With regards to Latino/a college</p><p>students, such an approach allows student affairs practitioners to acknowledge much of the</p><p>diversity that their cultures bring to their identities and how they must navigate through that</p><p>while having to take part in the dominant, American culture as well (Gallegos &amp; Ferdman, 2007;</p><p>Ojeda et al., 2012; Pope, 2000).</p><p>Racial identity involves how an individual views, understands, and interacts with their</p><p>own racial group as well as members of other racial groups (Helms &amp; Cook, 1999; Pope, 2000).</p><p>Racial identity models strive to examine a students sense of belonging to a particular group and</p><p>the impacts this group membership, or lack thereof, has on their interpersonal and intrapersonal</p><p>(cognitive and psychosocial) development (Pope, 2000; Torres &amp; Baxter Magolda, 2004; Torres</p><p>&amp; Hernandez, 2007; Torres, 2003). Although much of the research on the identity of members</p></li><li><p>8/12/2019 ELPS 433: Synthesis Project</p><p> 5/20</p><p>AN INTRICATE TAPESTRY OF DEVELOPMENT 5</p><p>from different ethnic groups has focused primarily on black, international, and white students, it</p><p>still has strong implications for other minority groups such as Latino/as in higher education</p><p>(Pope, 2000). Ethnic identity theories commonly suggest that a critical moment usually marks</p><p>the beginning of any type of starting point into the development of a racial/ethnic identity, but</p><p>they do not adequately reveal or explore the process or the influences on that process for these</p><p>individuals (Helms &amp; Cook, 1999; Torres &amp; Baxter Magolda, 2004).</p><p>Helms &amp; Cook (1999) suggests that movement from a less mature worldview to a more</p><p>mature one is segmented by statuses. Helmss statuses imply that an individualmay possess</p><p>multiple worldviews with associated feelings and behaviors, but that one worldview dominates</p><p>over all of them. Moving from a less mature to more mature status is usually associated with</p><p>positive interactions with other groups (Helms &amp; Cook, 1999; Pope, 2000). As is the case with</p><p>Latino/a students, many of them, regardless of generational status within the United States,</p><p>struggle with having to assimilate into one culture at the expense of disregarding the other</p><p>(Helms &amp; Cook, 1999; Torres, 2003). This significantly impedes their ability to effectively</p><p>develop a strong sense of self and interact with members from their own and outside groups;</p><p>clearly demonstrating how racial and ethnic identity is intricately woven into both psychosocial</p><p>and cognitive development. It is primarily for this reason that integrating ethnic identity with the</p><p>other dimensions of student development is critical in gathering a more specific perspective of</p><p>Latino/a student development overall.</p><p>In many of the critiques of the traditional theories of student development, the issue of</p><p>applicability to other identity groups other than the standard white, affluent, heterosexual male</p><p>that pervade most of the ones highly regarded by student affairs practitioners makes applying</p><p>these theories to practice for Latino/a students difficult (Evans et al., 2010; Torres et al., 2009;</p></li><li><p>8/12/2019 ELPS 433: Synthesis Project</p><p> 6/20</p><p>AN INTRICATE TAPESTRY OF DEVELOPMENT 6</p><p>Torres, 2003). But rather than disregarding theories by Chickering and Reisser or Perry when</p><p>dealing with Latino/a college students, student affairs practitioners and researchers in higher</p><p>education should think of their development through an ethnic identity lens. By doing so, the</p><p>various influences that impact the overall development of Latino/a college students can be taken</p><p>into consideration and used to help better support them as they come across crossroads or face</p><p>moments of extreme dissonance that will force them to develop sophisticated ways of making</p><p>meaning and reconstructing their own sense of self (Evans et al., 2010; Torres &amp; Baxter</p><p>Magolda, 2004; Torres &amp; Hernandez, 2007). Research studies that examined the psychosocial</p><p>and cognitive development of Latino/a college students on their own showcased how they</p><p>effectively moved through these individual dimensions, but they did not examine how race and</p><p>ethnicity might promote or hinder such development. It is for this reason that I advocate that</p><p>studying and working with Latino/a college students needs to be done by incorporating ethnic</p><p>identity into the use of holistic development (Torres &amp; Baxter Magolda, 2004; Torres &amp;</p><p>Hernandez, 2007).</p><p>Psychosocial Development</p><p>Theories of psychosocial development aim to examine the issues individuals encounter</p><p>throughout their life span that impact how they define themselves, their relationships with others,</p><p>and what they choose to do with their lives (as cited in Evans, Forney, Guido, Patton, &amp; Renn,</p><p>2010; Foubert &amp; Grainger, 2006). These particular theories, like Chickering and Reissers</p><p>revised theory of identity development, are useful in understanding the influences that</p><p>individuals encounter at different points in their lives and how these encounters promote, or</p><p>hinder, development (Evans et al., 2010; Foubert &amp; Grainger, 2006). The literature review</p><p>yielded few research studies that solely observed the psychosocial development of Latino/a</p></li><li><p>8/12/2019 ELPS 433: Synthesis Project</p><p> 7/20</p><p>AN INTRICATE TAPESTRY OF DEVELOPMENT 7</p><p>college students. Rather, a few of the studies that were found placed psychosocial development</p><p>in relation to other developmental dimensions such as racial and ethnic identity models;</p><p>demonstrating once again how intricately woven ethnic identity and psychosocial development</p><p>are for Latino/a students (Bernal, Bonilla, &amp; Bellido, 1995; Castillo et al., 2006; Helms &amp; Cook,</p><p>1999; Ojeda et al., 2012; Pope, 2000).</p><p>To understand how Latino/a college students navigate through psychosocial</p><p>development, Pope (2000) asserts that although Chickering and Reissers theory of identity</p><p>development can be insufficient (p. 74) in explaining how students of color move through</p><p>development, it is equally important to understand how ethnic identity influences and impacts</p><p>this particular dimension of development for Latino/a students (Evans et al., 2010). Pope found</p><p>that the construct of social identity was significantly related to the combined tasks of</p><p>psychosocial development (Pope, 2000). In particular, there was a close relationship between</p><p>racial/ethnic identity and the psychosocial tasks of Establishing and Clarifying Purpose,</p><p>Developing Mature Interpersonal Relationships, and Academic Autonomy (Evans et al., 2010;</p><p>Pope, 2000). In Developing Mature Interpersonal Relationships, individuals develop</p><p>intercultural and interpersonal appreciation of that which is different than them as well as the</p><p>capacity to hold and maintain meaningful relationships with others (as cited in Evans et al.,</p><p>2010). In Establishing and Clarifying Purpose (Developing Purpose), Chickering and Reisser</p><p>assert that the goals of this vector are for an individual to develop clear goals and make strong</p><p>interpersonal commitments (as cited in Evans et al., 2010).</p><p>Castillo, Conoley, Choi-Pearson, Archuleta, Phoummarath, and Van Landingham (2012)</p><p>look into the factors that contribute towards Latino/a college students attitudes on college</p><p>persistence, work that is deeply rooted in psychosocial development. In their study, the</p></li><li><p>8/12/2019 ELPS 433: Synthesis Project</p><p> 8/20</p><p>AN INTRICATE TAPESTRY OF DEVELOPMENT 8</p><p>researchers found that students with a stronger commitment to their ethnic identity had more of a</p><p>struggle with academic persistence. By developing such a strong ethnic identity, Latino/a</p><p>students felt the need for emersion, or the recognition for positive group definition, and did not</p><p>develop the intercultural or interpersonal appreciation that is characteristic of Developing Mature</p><p>Interpersonal Relationships (Evans et al., 2010; Helms &amp; Cook, 1999; Pope, 2000; Castillo et al.,</p><p>2006). Helmss (1999) people of color racial identity model provides more insight as to why this</p><p>is. Helms asserts that due to a higher sense of ethnic self, individuals may begin to immerse</p><p>themselves in, or idealize everything to be considered of their own group, and reject anything</p><p>that is other (Helms &amp; Cook, p. 248, 1999). Similar to emersion, immersion causes Latino/a</p><p>students to reject anything that may not be of their own group, which then leads to a low or poor</p><p>development of mature and interpersonal relationships (Helms &amp; Cook, 1999).</p><p>Through these examples, it is important to highlight a point Pope makes clear:</p><p>development in either ethnic identity development or psychosocial development causes the other;</p><p>it shows that they are closely related (Pope, 2000). This is significant because the time and</p><p>energy students of color, namely Latino/a students, put into navigating their own ethnic identity</p><p>development can have huge impacts on their psychosocial development as well. This makes</p><p>placing special attention to the impact of ethnic identity on the psychosocial development of</p><p>Latino/a students by student affairs practitioners a high priority.</p><p>Research on the psychosocial development of Latino/a college students is scarce. Many</p><p>of the developmental tasks in this dimension of development as they pertain to this particular</p><p>group of students are best examined in relation to ethnic identity (Pope, 2000). The fact that</p><p>psychosocial development theories on their own do not provide a full and clear picture of the</p><p>identities of Latino/a students suggests that higher education researchers must take the time, care,</p></li><li><p>8/12/2019 ELPS 433: Synthesis Project</p><p> 9/20</p><p>AN INTRICATE TAPESTRY OF DEVELOPMENT 9</p><p>and initiative to better understand how this population of students formulate other areas of their</p><p>identity in conjunction with their race and ethnicity. Seeing that race and ethnicity has a</p><p>significant impact on the ways in which individuals formulate their own identities and it is</p><p>critical that research continues to be done to examine the impacts on the overall identity of</p><p>Latino/a students.</p><p>Cognitive Development</p><p>Theories of cognitive development attempt to examine the processes of intellectual</p><p>development during the college years (Evans et al.,p. 43, 2010). Cognitive development</p><p>theories have a strong focus on how people think and make meaning of the experiences that they</p><p>face throughout their lives (Evans et al., 2010; Torres &amp; Baxter Magolda, 2004). These theories</p><p>are helpful in aiding student affairs practitioners in understanding how students reason through</p><p>the decision making process and their interactions with those around them (Evans et al. 2010).</p><p>The research on Latino/a cognitive development indicates that the meaning making processes of</p><p>these students are significantly influenced by various structures such as family, generational</p><p>status in the United States, and geographic location (Guardia &amp; Evans, 2008; Ojeda et al., 2012;</p><p>Torres &amp; Hernandez, 2007; Torres 2003; Torres 2004). In the context of Latino/a cognitive</p><p>development, these particular students often produce their identities through participation in a</p><p>wide array of cultural activities that allow them to participate in the conceptual, or cognitive,</p><p>developmental processes such as valuing the family structure, Latino Greek letter organizations,</p><p>or even reverse racism (Guardia &amp; Evans, 2008; Ojeda et al., 2012; Urrieta, 2007).</p><p>An example cognitive development that was found in the literature review was in a</p><p>research study conducted by Ojeda, Navarro, Rosales Meza, &amp; A...</p></li></ul>