Monday, March 7, 2011

Racial Identity May Be Part of Happiness

A strange old chart of racial classification.
From Associated Content.
The Michigan State University website reports on a new study that shows African Americans who identify more strongly with their race tend to be happier. The study, published in Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, surveyed black adults in Michigan.

Stevie C.Y. Yap, lead researcher on the study and MSU doctoral candidate, says, "This is the first empirical study we know of that shows a relationship between racial identity and happiness," even though previous studies have made a connection between racial identity and self esteem.

Yap hypothesizes that this link may have something to do with a sense of belongingness. Do these results apply to other racial groups as well? We don't know yet, but further research might find out.


  1. This is really interesting!! I'm definately looking forward to reading more on it in the future as the research continues. And yep, I believe it might really have a lot to do with the sense of belongigness.

  2. Yeah, Michigan's nice and all, but hopefully the next study will have a larger scope (and perhaps more racial groups)!

  3. I wonder if the study is measuring symptoms instead of causes. Are they happier because they have friends who love them or because they are around people who have the same color of skin? I bristle readily when I read the words "racial identity". The study needs control groups of mixed and separated races to be very scientific. It is a difficult thing to objectively observe.

  4. Yes, Dave, those aspects are suspicious. Unfortunately, the original story doesn't go into enough detail to point out things like control groups (and I'm not subscribed to that journal), but since it's a published university study, I trusted their methodology. I probably should have pointed out the lack of that information in the article, though.