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Identity development is a process of developing a distinct personality of a person in a certain point in life in which an individual possess characteristics which they are recognized or known by. This process helps to define an individual to themselves and others. Identity development enables a person to have some sort of understanding of him or herself as a distinct, separate person. This can be achieved through individuation where the undifferentiated entity becomes unique.

Ethnicidentity is the recognition to a certain ethnicity, usually based on an assumed general ancestry or genealogy. To recognize with others as a discrete ethnic group is a contributing factor to the development of this bond of identification. Ethnic groups are unified by common behavioral, cultural, linguistic, religious or ritualistic traits. The processes that bring about the surfacing of such identification are categorized as ethno-genesis. Different social theory and cultural studies look into the question of ethnic and cultural identities. Cultural identity is based on: gender, place, history, race, nationality, ethnicity and sexual orientation. Another part of ethnical and philosophical identification is national identity whereby people are separated into groups known as nations. People in a "nation" have a common identity, and most likely a common origin, in the sense of parentage, ancestry or descent.

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Ethnic and racial differences have a massive impact on an individual social development, although the impact depends on specific ethnicity and age. Heritage in an individual entity development is influenced by history, immediate environment and social context. By having an ethnic heritage one has a different, more problematic effect on ones development hence it is very important to actively help racial people to obtain an optimistic self-concept. They need to be exposed to models of all the ethnicities they love and to multiracial individuals. They should be helped to comprehend what multiracial means, and acquire coping skills that include methods to deal with discrimination and racism. Since there are few stable, integrated, and tension-free racially mixed communities, schools and families are forced to work hard to enable a helpful community that affirms multiracialism.

From  sociology, gender identity  is described as the gender with which a individual identifies with (i.e., If one perceives him or herself to be a woman or a man)and can also refer to the gender that other individuals  attribute to the person based on their knowledge from gender role indicators (clothing, social behavior, hair style, etc.). Gender identity can be affected by different social structures, including a person's family, ethnic group, religion, employment status, or irreligion.

People who are socialized based on their race, ethnicity or gender may gain from their heritage as their families and relatives provide them with cultural education that is wider than that of other individuals hence giving them a larger knowledge base and a better sense of the world. They acquire a better sense of identity and self awareness, and superior intergroup tolerance, appreciation of minority group cultures and language facility. Moreover, they are able to relate with multiple aspects of a situation where others see only one. This may also be disadvantageous as identity development for multiracial youth is more complicated as there are many possible choices and society, families and peers exert strong and contradictory influences on youth who are already stressed with internal conflicts.

In conclusion the process of identity development is complex for the youth based on race, gender, ethnicity and other factors. For one to be well rounded in all areas one must obtain assistance from family and friends and they should embrace their cultural diversity and learn how to deal with discrimination and racialism.

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