National Identity, Implicit In-Group Evaluation, and Psychological Well-Being Among Emirati Women

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Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology


© The Author(s) 2018. A sense of connectedness, and belonging to a valued social group (social identity processes), has been found to promote psychological well-being. This study, using implicit and explicit assessments, extends the exploration of social identity and well-being to citizens of the United Arab Emirates (Emiratis). In this cross-sectional correlational study, Emirati college women (N = 210), all of them bilingual (English/Arabic), performed an affective priming task designed to assess, implicitly, in-group (Emirati) preference (a positive bias toward the in-group relative to an out-group). Participants also completed the Multicomponent In-Group Identification Scale (MIIS), a measure of in-group identification and self-report measures of English/Arabic language proficiency. Participants also reported their psychological well-being using the World Health Organization’s well-being index. Implicit in-group preference and self-reported Arabic language dominance were independently predictive of higher levels of psychological well-being. The implicit measure was the strongest, most robust, predictor. Interventions aimed at maintaining or increasing a positive sense of a shared social identity may be a useful objective of public mental health strategy.

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Author First name, Last name, Institution

Ian Grey, Zayed University
Justin Thomas, Zayed University