Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 267–277 | Cite as

Positive and Negative Self-Esteem Among Ethnic Minority Early Adolescents: Social and Cultural Sources and Threats

  • Maykel Verkuyten


This paper uses data from a large-scale study (N = 1070) of Turkish and Moroccan early adolescents in the Netherlands. In it, it was found that a distinction between positive and negative self-esteem as 2 relatively independent dimensions of global self-esteem could be made. Other results were that ethnic identification and family integrity as an individual tendency toward collectivism turned out to be positively related to positive self-esteem. On the other hand, peer discrimination and intergenerational discrepancies in attitude toward Dutch cultural practices appeared to be related to lowered positive self-esteem and enhanced negative self-esteem. These relationships were similar for both groups of participants. However, the Moroccans had higher positive self-esteem and lower negative self-esteem. Furthermore, the Moroccans identified more strongly with their ethnic group and reported more intergenerational cultural discrepancies, whereas the Turks experienced more discrimination and valued family integrity more. It is concluded that, in addition to the differential resources and threats, the examination of these 2 dimensions of self-esteem can improve our understanding of the development of self-evaluation by ethnic minority youth.

ethnic minorities self-esteem 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maykel Verkuyten
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Utrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.the European Research Center on Migration and Ethnic Relations (ERCOMER)Netherlands

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