Ethnic Identity and Patriotism in Adolescents: The Role of Age, Group Status and Social Context

Jasmina Tomašić Humer, Dinka Čorkalo Biruški, Tea Pavin Ivanec


The aim of this study was to examine age differences of
minority and majority adolescents regarding ethnic identity,
in-group bias (as a form of ethnic attachment), and
constructive and blind patriotism (as a form of national
attachment). The study was conducted in four multi-ethnic
contexts in Croatia: Croatian-Czech, Croatian-Hungarian,
Croatian-Serbian and Croatian-Italian. The results of
N = 924 students of primary (sixth, seventh and eighth
grade) and secondary (second, third and fourth grade)
schools were analysed. The average age was M = 14.99,
SD = 2.17 years. Younger pupils express higher levels of
ethnic identity and blind patriotism, whereas constructive
patriotism was more expressed in older students. There
were no age differences in in-group bias. Minority pupils
exhibit lower levels of bias, while majority members are
more prone to bias in the Croatian-Serbian and Croatian-
-Hungarian contexts. Furthermore, majority pupils are more
willing to express constructive, but also blind patriotism.


ethnic identity; in-group bias; patriotism; adolescence

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