Penelope W. St J. Watson, Mohamed Alansari, Frank C. Worrell & Christine M. Rubie‐Davies

University of Auckland, NZCER & University of California, Berkeley

Attitudes toward ethnic and racial identity have been linked to both wellbeing and maladaptive outcomes that affect belonging at school. Affirmative feelings towards school have resulted in positive subjective wellbeing and more optimistic thoughts of the future. Further, improved academic achievement and fewer negative behaviours, such as discipline issues, truancy, and dropping out have been associated with students’ liking for school. Are there statistically significant and meaningful differences in the relationship among ethnic-racial identity profiles on three school belonging variables, or statistically significant and meaningful differences by gender among each of the ethnic-racial identity profiles and in the relationships within the profiles and school belonging variables?

Key Policy Implications:

  • These findings endorse the idea that belonging to at least one ethnic-racial group buffers against maladaptive relatedness attitudes, and that this scenario is amplified by association with further ethnic-racial identities and acceptance of multiple cultural outlooks.
  • Given New Zealand boys’ persisting underachievement, and the potential impact of ability-based stereotype threat for Māori students, educational strategies aimed at supporting the engagement of Māori boys at risk of falling into in the Low Race Salience group, seem particularly warranted.
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