Perceived group and personal discrimination: differential effects on personal self-esteem



In two studies, we investigate the differential influence of perceived group and personal discrimination on self-esteem in the context of the Rejection–Identification model (Branscombe, Schmitt, & Harvey, 1999). We first polled a group of African immigrants and found that whereas personal discrimination was negatively related to personal self-esteem, group discrimination was positively associated with it. As expected, identification served as a buffer between personal discrimination and self-esteem. We replicated these effects in a second study using women as our respondents. These results suggest that perceiving group discrimination may be positively related to self-esteem because people feel less alone in their plight, thereby alleviating the ill-effects of exclusion. We discuss these results in relation to both the Rejection–Identification model and the discounting hypothesis (Crocker & Major, 1989). Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.