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Perceived Teacher Discrimination and Depressive Feelings in Adolescents: The Role of National, Regional, and Heritage Identities in Flemish Schools

J Youth Adolesc. 2022 Aug 20. doi: 10.1007/s10964-022-01665-7. Online ahead of print.


Adolescents’ identities are multiple, yet there is very little research that investigates the importance of intersecting identities, especially in relationship to teacher ethnic/racial discrimination and mental health. Multiplicity is often approached bi-dimensional (heritage and national identities) yet this study highlights the importance of regional identity. Regions are distinct socio-political contexts in relation to migration and integration dynamics. Hence, this study investigates for different combinations of national, heritage and regional identities (i.e. Flemish, Belgian and Turkish or Moroccan) the relationship between students’ experiences with teacher ethnic/racial discrimination and students’ depressive feelings. Latent Class Analysis of survey data involving a sample of 439 adolescents (Mage = 18, SD = 0.93; Girls = 49%) with Turkish (41%) or Moroccan origin in Flanders, shows three identification classes: full integration (35%), national integration (40%) and (weak) separation (24%). All these identity profiles had in common that heritage identification was high, yet they were highly distinct due to variation in national and regional identification. Additional, multilevel modelling showed that nationally integrated adolescents were less depressed than fully integrated adolescents. This finding illustrates the importance of adolescents’ identity multiplicity for understanding their resilience in relation to teacher discrimination.

PMID:35987976 | DOI:10.1007/s10964-022-01665-7

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