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Perceived discrimination among ethnic minority young people : the role of psychological variables

Cassidy, C. and O'Connor, R.C. and Howe, C.J. and Warden, D.A. (2005) Perceived discrimination among ethnic minority young people : the role of psychological variables. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 35 (6). pp. 1246-1265. ISSN 0021-9029

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Because of difficulties in objectively determining discrimination, attention has turned to individual differences in perceptions of discrimination. This study aimed to build on such work by investigating the role of psychological variables in predicting perceived discrimination (PD) in a UK sample of ethnic minority young people (n = 154). A series of multiple regression analyses yielded 3 pathways leading to PD. There was a direct effect of gender on PD. Depression and low self-esteem and need for approval predicted anxiety, which in turn was related to higher PD. Finally, private collective self-esteem correlated with public collective self-esteem, which in turn predicted lower PD. The results point to the importance of psychological variables, both personal and collective, in the perception of ethnic discrimination. Furthermore, the findings enhance our understanding of the complex associations between self-esteem, affect, and PD.