Drawing from the rejection-identification model, acculturation, and acceptance threat literatures, we examined how Indigenous and mainstream identification influence the effect of discrimination on acculturative and physical stress. A community sample of 126 Indigenous Alaskans reported discrimination, identification with Indigenous Alaskans and mainstream Americans, and acculturative and physical stress. As perceptions of personal discrimination increased, so did Indigenous identification and reports of acculturative and physical stress. Contrary to the rejection-identification hypothesis, Indigenous identification did not reduce the effect of discrimination on stress. Instead, following personal discrimination, Indigenous and mainstream identification interacted to predict acculturative stress. As Indigenous identification increased, so did acculturative stress–particularly among those who strongly identified with mainstream culture. These associations were not present for group-based discrimination. Thus, experiencing personal rejection from mainstream society may be particularly stressful for Indigenous people who strongly identify with their ethnic group, placing them at higher risk for mental and physical illness.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology