Social Indicators Research

, Volume 103, Issue 3, pp 379–398 | Cite as

Māori Cultural Efficacy and Subjective Wellbeing: A Psychological Model and Research Agenda

  • Carla A. HoukamauEmail author
  • Chris G. Sibley


Māori, the indigenous peoples of New Zealand, experience a range of negative outcomes. Psychological models and interventions aiming to improve outcomes for Māori tend to be founded on a ‘culture-as-cure’ model. This view promotes cultural efficacy as a critical resilience factor that should improve outcomes for Māori. This is a founding premise of initiatives for Indigenous peoples in many nations. However, research modeling the outcomes of increased cultural efficacy for Indigenous peoples, such as Māori, remains limited. We present cross-sectional data modeling the links, and possible causal direction, between Māori cultural efficacy and active identity engagement and levels of (1) satisfaction with personal circumstances and life versus (2) satisfaction with government and the state of the nation more generally (N = 93 Māori). Our data support an opposing outcomes model in which Māori cultural efficacy predicts satisfaction with personal aspects of life, but may simultaneously decrease satisfaction with the nation and methods of governance for Māori peoples. Possible mechanisms governing these opposing effects are discussed.


Māori Cultural efficacy Culture as cure New Zealand Subjective well-being 



This research was funded by Performance Based Research Funds awarded to Chris Sibley by the University of Auckland.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Management and International BusinessUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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