Pacific youth, acculturation and identity: The relationship between ethnic identity and well-being - new directions for research

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Journal Article
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Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies
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Manuela, Sam
Anae, Melani

Given the importance of studying ethnic identity, acculturation and cultural orientation research and scholarship on this phenomenon is rapidly increasing. Moreover there is a groundswell of interest in the relationship between ethnic identity and well-beingThis relationship is particularly significant for Pacific peoples in New Zealand, for whom ethnic identity may be a very salient feature of individuals’ self-concepts. In this paper we thus focus on the ethnic identity construct and its relationship with well-being across the sectors of education, justice, religious centrality and mental health and its other possible applications. It ends with a call for ethnic enhancements ((new programmes which focus on the impacts of colonialism, Christianity and neoliberalism on Pacific peoples and nations) to bolster existing cultural enhancements ((existing programmes which focus on Pacific culture - languages, music, performance and dance only) for optimal well-being outcomes for our Pacific youth. More significantly, based on our own studies of constructs of Pacific ethnic identity in New Zealand, this paper reviews, identifies and analyses current quantitative and qualitative constructs and findings, and offers new directions for future research.

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CC BY 4.0