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Crocker and Major (1989) hypothesized three mechanisms by which members of stigmatized groups may protect self-esteem. The mechanisms are: a) ingroup social comparisons, b) valuing/devaluing performance selectively, and c) racial prejudice. We provide a test of Crocker and Major’s hypothesized mechanisms with the development of the Protective Style Questionnaire which was administered to a sample of 78 African-American adolescents. Evidence of high internal consistency reliability (about .86) and factor loadings support the orthogonality of the three mechanisms. Results showed varying levels of endorsement of each mechanism.


Personality and Social Contexts | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education