Papers from the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology Conferences

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This study attempted to highlight the role of ethnic organizations in maintaining the ethnic identity and self-construals of migrants and see whether such perpetuations were psychologically healthy or not in a contrasting culture. Two groups of migrants of Asian-Indian origin in the USA participated in the study, one group belonging to their respective ethnic organizations and the other group not belonging to any ethnic organization. Results indicated stronger ethnic identity and interdependent self-construal in members of ethnic organizations as compared to non-members. Self-construals were found to be significant moderators in the relationships between ethnic identity and well-being in members of ethnic organizations but not in non-members. Better well-being was seen in people who were engaged in their respective ethnic organizations and thereby still maintaining their home prototypical self-construal with strong ethnic identity. Non-members showed a match of self-construal to the host culture (independent) as well as weaker ethnic identity and poorer well-being, while the member group showed higher intergroup anxiety. Results were discussed in light of the debates on cultural diversity and role of ethnic organizations and social identity.


The research was supported by the Fulbright-Nehru Senior Research Fellowship.

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