Fitting in: How the intergroup context shapes minority acculturation and achievement

Karen Phalet, Gülseli Baysu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
84 Downloads (Pure)


Children of immigrants are at risk of underachieving in school with long-lasting consequences for future life-chances. Our research contextualizes the achievement gap by examining minority acculturation experiences in daily intergroup contact across different intergroup contexts. Acculturation researchers often find an adaptive advantage for minority youth with an integration-orientation (combining both cultures). But findings from Europe are inconclusive. Looking beyond individual-differences in acculturation-orientations, this review shifts focus to the intergroup context of minority acculturation and achievement. We discuss longitudinal, multi-group, multi-level and experimental evidence of the up- and downsides of integration for minority inclusion and success in European societies. Our studies show that both (1) intergroup contact experiences and (2) intergroup ideologies affect achievement - either directly or through the interplay of (3) acculturation-norms, defined as shared views on acculturation in social groups, with individual acculturation-orientations. The findings suggest how schools can reduce achievement gaps through improving intergroup relations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-39
Number of pages39
JournalEuropean review of social psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 02 Feb 2020


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