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Feeling Good, Happy, and Proud: A Meta-Analysis of Positive Ethnic–Racial Affect and Adjustment


  • Deborah Rivas-Drake is now at the University of Michigan.

  • This article was prepared as part of the Ethnic and Racial Identity in the 21st Century working group. Group members not listed on the author byline are: William E. Cross Jr., George P. Knight, Stephen M. Quintana, Eleanor Seaton, Robert M. Sellers, and Tiffany Yip. The authors gratefully acknowledge the funding for this working group provided by the Society for Research in Child Development, Society for Research on Adolescence, APA Division 45, the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race in America and the Center for the Study of Human Development at Brown University, and the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University. We are also grateful to Marley Pierce for her diligence as a research assistant and to Dr. Elisabetta Crocetti for her invaluable assistance with the data analyses and presentation of results.


One point of intersection in ethnic and racial identity research is the conceptual attention paid to how positively youth feel about their ethnicity or race, or positive ethnic–racial affect. This article reports results of a series of meta-analyses based on 46 studies of this dimension and psychosocial, academic, and health risk outcomes among ethnic and racial minority youth. The overall pattern of results suggests that positive ethnic–racial affect exhibited small to medium associations (r range = |.11| to |.37|) with depressive symptoms, positive social functioning, self-esteem, well-being, internalizing, externalizing, academic achievement, academic attitudes, and health risk outcomes. Implications for theory and research about the role of positive ethnic–racial affect among youth growing up in an increasingly diverse society are discussed.