Ethnic and religious discrimination: the multifaceted role of religiosity and collective self-esteem

Transcult Psychiatry. 2013 Aug;50(4):475-92. doi: 10.1177/1363461513495586. Epub 2013 Jul 24.


This study analyses the roles of collective self-esteem and religiosity in the relationship between discrimination and psychological distress among a sample of 432 recent immigrants from Haiti and Arab countries living in Montreal, Quebec. Collective self-esteem (CSE), religiosity, discriminatory experiences, and psychological symptoms of depression and anxiety were assessed. Regression analyses revealed direct negative effects of discrimination, CSE, and religiosity on psychological distress for the entire sample. CSE, however, also appeared to moderate the effects of discrimination on psychological distress. Participants with higher CSE reported lower levels of anxiety and depression as a result of discrimination compared to those who expressed lower CSE levels. The results suggest that the relationship between CSE, discrimination, and psychological distress must be reexamined in light of recent sociopolitical changes and the upsurge in ethnic and religious tensions following the war on terror.

Keywords: collective self-esteem; discrimination; ethnic groups; psychological distress; religiosity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Arabs / ethnology
  • Arabs / psychology
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / etiology
  • Depression / psychology
  • Ethnic Groups / psychology*
  • Female
  • Haiti / ethnology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prejudice / psychology*
  • Quebec / epidemiology
  • Religion*
  • Self Concept*
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult