Ethnic identification, self-esteem and immigrant psychological health
This study focused on the psychological consequences of immigration. It was designed to assess the relative significance of a range of variables in predicting the ethnic identification, personal and ethnic self-esteem, and psychological health of members of a variety of immigrant groups to Australia. Of particular interest was the possible impact of the degree of cultural distance between the immigrant groups and the host country. The study included 510 adult participants from Hong Kong, Vietnam, Bosnia, Sri Lanka and New Zealand. The results indicated that the main predictors of ethnic identification (i.e., immigrants' identification with their culture of origin) were cultural distance, extent of friendship with Australians, the degree to which the immigrants were involved with their ethnic communities, and their ability to speak English. The immigrants' level of ethnic identification was found to be the primary determinant of ethnic self-esteem whereas the main predictors of personal self-esteem were individual achievements and accomplishments. Finally, immigrant psychological health was mainly dependent upon personal self-esteem rather than ethnic self-esteem and/or ethnic identification. The findings are discussed in relation to theories and research on ethnic adaptation, in addition to social identity theory.
International Journal of Intercultural Relations