No more than skin deep: Ethnic and racial similarity in developmental process

David C. Rowe, Alexander T. Vazsonyi, Daniel J. Flannery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

204 Scopus citations


Many studies adduce evidence of ethnic or racial dissimilarities in developmental outcomes (e.g., delinquency and achievement). Many researchers fail to distinguish between group average levels and developmental processes (correlations). Evidence is reviewed that developmental processes are nearly identical for U.S. Black, Hispanic, White, and Asian ethnic and racial groups. Using diverse and representative data sources, covariance matrices were computed for these ethnic groups and then compared by using a LISREL goodness-of-fit test. Not only were these matrices nearly identical but they also were no less alike than covariance matrices computed from random halves within 1 ethnic or racial group. This article documents the importance of accepting ethnic and racial similarity of developmental processes. Thus, group average level differences may result from different levels of developmental antecedents working through common developmental pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-413
Number of pages18
JournalPsychological Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (all)


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