Social Psychology Quarterly vol:74 issue:2 pages:121-143
Intergroup Relations: Threat and Intergroup Relations edition:12 location:Jena, Germany date:30 June-4 July 2009 British Psychological Society Social Psychology Section annual conference location:Sheffield, UK date:15-17 Sep 2009
Some members of ethnic minority groups respond to identity threat in ways that are detrimental to their school career, while others persist despite an unwelcoming school environment. It was hypothesized that ethnic and national identities, as combined in ‘separated’, ‘assimilated’ or ‘dual identity’ strategies, moderate consequences of identity threat for minority school performance and that the adaptive value of different identity strategies depends on the inter-group context. Random samples of Turkish-Belgian young adults (N=576) were interviewed about their school performance (i.e., high, middle or low success) and past experiences of discrimination in school as an indicator of identity threat. Results revealed that Turkish-Belgians with ‘separated’ or ‘assimilated’ identity strategies were less likely than ‘dual’ identifiers to disengage from school when perceived threat was high. Conversely, dual identifiers were most successful when perceived threat was low. Implications of the up- and downsides of dual identity for minority school performance are discussed.