Delayed Identity

Being a first-generation daughter of immigrants can look like:
Exploring your identity at a later age because you were not given the space to do so during the appropriate developmental stage.

The assimilation process for immigrants can be a journey that lasts for generations. As a result, it is common that children of immigrants cannot fulfill identity vs. role confusion, an essential role in developing a sense of personal identity which will continue to influence behavior and development for the rest of a person’s life. This stage takes place during the adolescent years (12 to 18 years).

During adolescent years, daughters of immigrants are tasked with household responsibilities, expected to care for other family members, and taught to put others’ needs before theirs. Their interests are often left uncommunicated or dismissed amongst what the parents feel takes precedence.

It is common for daughters of immigrants to explore their identity later in life. If they are able to find some autonomy and financial independence, daughters of immigrants will start experimenting and experiencing things they have had to put on hold due to restrictions.

Piercings, tattoos, hair coloring, recreational drugs, traveling to places they choose, are all practices that daughters of immigrants use to find their identity.

What are some of the ways that you have practiced finding your identity?

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