The psychology of engagement with indigenous identities: A cultural perspective

Glenn Adams*, Stephanie A. Fryberg, Donna M. Garcia, Elizabeth U. Delgado-Torres

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


In a questionnaire study among 124 students at Haskell Indian Nations University, the authors investigated the hypothesis that engagement with Indigenous identity - assessed along three dimensions including degree (identification scale), content (panethnic or tribal nation), and context (reservation or nonreservation) - can serve as a psychological resource for well-being and liberation from oppression. Consistent with this hypothesis, degree of identification was positively correlated with community efficacy and perception of racism. Apparently inconsistent with this hypothesis, degree of identification among students who had resided on a reservation was negatively correlated with the Social Self-Esteem subscale of the Current Thoughts Scale. Rather than evidence against the identity-as-resource hypothesis, this pattern may reflect the cultural grounding of self-esteem and tools designed to measure it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-508
Number of pages16
JournalCultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2006


  • Identity
  • Liberation psychology
  • Self-esteem
  • Social representations
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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