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Positive in-group distinctiveness has been associated with self-esteem increases among adolescents and adults. To examine whether in-group biases are associated with self-esteem enhancement among minority group children, Native Canadian children (N = 414, 209 female) age 6–11 completed each year for 5 years, measures assessing their level of concrete operational thought, racial–ethnic identity, racial–ethnic centrality, implicit and explicit self-esteem, and implicit and explicit in-group attitudes. According to cognitive developmental theory, increases in the level of concrete operational thought will predict increases in racial–ethnic identity, and increases in identity should, in turn, predict more favorable in-group attitudes. Social identity theory predicts that more favorable in-group attitudes should predict increases in self-esteem. Multi-level structural equation modelling revealed support for these hypotheses. Cognitively mature children who identify closely with their group enhanced their level of self-esteem by positively differentiating between group members on dimensions that favor their group. Limitations of the present study and suggestions for future studies are also presented.
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- Relationships Between Racial–Ethnic Identity, Self-esteem and In-group Attitudes Among First Nation Children
- Springer US