Perceived Discrimination Among Ethnic Minority Young People: The Role of Psychological Variables1


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    This research was supported by a grant from Glasgow Anti-Racist Alliance as part of its Social Inclusion Partnership funded by the Scottish Executive.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Clare Cassidy, School of Psychology, University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews KYI6 9JL, United Kingdom. E-mail:


Because of difficulties in objectively determining discrimination, attention has turned to individual differences in perceptions of discrimination. This study aimed to build on such work by investigating the role of psychological variables in predicting perceived discrimination (PD) in a UK sample of ethnic minority young people (n= 154). A series of multiple regression analyses yielded 3 pathways leading to PD. There was a direct effect of gender on PD. Depression and low self-esteem and need for approval predicted anxiety, which in turn was related to higher PD. Finally, private collective self-esteem correlated with public collective self-esteem, which in turn predicted lower PD. The results point to the importance of psychological variables, both personal and collective, in the perception of ethnic discrimination. Furthermore, the findings enhance our understanding of the complex associations between self-esteem, affect, and PD.