The present research, which was conducted among ethnic minority (N = 109) and majority (N = 649) adolescents in the Netherlands, examined the endorsement of multiculturalism in relation to ethnic ingroup identification, perceived group essentialism and protestant ethic ideology. The results revealed that ethnic minorities were more in favour of multiculturalism than Dutch participants. Furthermore, ethnic identification, group essentialism and protestant ethic were independently related to multiculturalism. However, these relations were all moderated by ethnic group status. High ethnic identification, essentialist beliefs about minority groups, and protestant ethic were related to lower endorsement of multiculturalism among the majority group. In contrast, high ethnic identification and essentialist beliefs about one's own ethnic minority group were related to stronger endorsement of multiculturalism among the minority groups, but not protestant ethic. Perceived essentialism of the majority group showed no effects. It is concluded that social psychology is able to make a valuable contribution to issues related to the management of cultural diversity. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.