Racial and Ethnic Identity: Their Relationship and Their Contribution to Self-Esteem

Abstract

This study explores the relationship between racial identity, ethnic identity, other-group orientation, and self-esteem among 126 Black and 292 White students. Pearson product-moment correlations for Blacks revealed that those holding anti-Black and pro-White attitudes showed low ethnic group attachment, whereas those with internalized attitudes showed high ethnic attachment. There was no relationship between ethnic and racial group attachment among Whites, but a significant relationship was found between racial identity and other-group orientation. Multiple regression analyses for Blacks indicated that racial and ethnic identity explained a significant proportion of the variability in self-esteem. The results for Whites indicated that racial and ethnic identity variables did not contribute meaningfully to the variance in self-esteem. Two orientations to multicultural work-visible racial-ethnic group and salience models-were introduced and discussed in light of the results’ implications for research and practice.

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