Turns Out Fusion Is Good For You

Taz of Sepia Mutiny reports on this interesting London-based study of teens between cultures, which divided subjects into four groups:

  1. integrated identity: adoption of attitudes and behaviors from both the culture of origin and the newly encountered culture.
  2. marginalized identity: both sets of attitudes and behaviors are rejected.
  3. assimilated identity: host culture is preferred over culture of origin.
  4. traditional identity: culture of origin is retained and host culture rejected.
Apparently, studies in the past have found that "integration is the most healthy outcome, marginalization is the most risky outcome, and traditionalism (also called segregation) and assimilation carried intermediate levels of risk for mental health problems." This particular study, however, took a look at friendships, and found that "fewer mental health problems were found among adolescents making culturally integrated friendship choices."

Given these findings, making friendships with lots of different kinds of people must be good for everybody's mental health. Here's part of the survey instrument the study used -- why not take it and see how you rank?

DO YOU HAVE MANY GOOD FRIENDS WHO BELONG TO YOUR RACE/ETHNIC GROUP?

  • None
  • Some
  • Quite a lot
  • Most or all of them belong to my own race/ethnic group

DO YOU HAVE MANY GOOD FRIENDS WHO BELONG TO OTHER RACES/ETHNIC GROUPS?

  • None
  • Some
  • Quite a lot
  • Most or all of them belong to other races/ethnic groups

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