Academic journal article New Zealand Journal of Psychology

The Multidimensional Model of Maori Identity and Cultural Engagement: Measurement Equivalence across Diverse Maori Groups

Academic journal article New Zealand Journal of Psychology

The Multidimensional Model of Maori Identity and Cultural Engagement: Measurement Equivalence across Diverse Maori Groups

Article excerpt

The field of quantitative identity research has undergone somewhat of an emic (by the people of the culture, for the people; Berry, 1989) revolution in recent years. The addition of the Pacific Identity and Wellbeing Scale (the PIWBS; Manuela & Sibley, 2013; 2015a), and the Multidimensional Model of Maori Identity and Cultural Engagement--Revised (the MMM-ICE2; Houkamau & Sibley, 2010, 2015a), have allowed researchers to assess identity in a culturally-specific and nuanced way. The MMM-ICE2 is a seven dimension, public domain, quantitative, Likert-style, self-report measure created for Maori by Maori (Houkamau & Sibley, 2010, 2015a). The purpose of the scale is to measure one's subjective identification as Maori (Houkamau & Sibley, 2010, 2015a). The MMM-ICE2 has shown utility in predicting a wide range of outcomes including: home-ownership (Houkamau & Sibley, 2015b), Marae visits and fluency in Te Reo Maori (Houkamau & Sibley, 2010), perceptions of National and Personal well-being (Houkamau & Sibley, 2011), self-esteem (Matika, Manuela, Muriwai, Houkamau, & Sibley, 2017), environmental attitudes and values (Cowie, Greaves, Milfont, Houkamau, & Sibley, 2016), and mental health (Muriwai, Houkamau & Sibley, 2015). Here, we aim to test the measurement equivalence of the MMM-ICE2 across urban/rural Maori, gender, "age and" sole-identified versus mixed Maori, to provide evidence that the scale is measuring subjective identification equally across groups.

Development of the MMM-ICE

Initially, Houkamau and Sibley (2010) aimed to create a scale of Maori identity, where identity is defined as: "constituting those aspects of the self-concept (including beliefs/values/ attitudes) that pertain to 'who' a person is as Maori, how they 'fit in' with others in the social world and what that means in terms of behaviour" (Houkamau & Sibley, 2010, p. 12). The original items were from a broad and detailed review of the literature on Maori identity and the international literature on ethnic identity. The initial item pool included items based on: identity centrality (Sellers, Smith, Shelton, Rowley, & Chavous, 1998; Luhtanen & Crocker, 1992), collective self-esteem (Luhtanen & Crocker, 1992), cultural efficacy (see Durie, 1995), active identity engagement (based on qualitative research by Houkamau, 2006), spirituality (i.e., Durie, 1994), interdependency/collectivism (Kashima & Hardie, 2000), and essentialist/ authenticity based beliefs (based on discussions on the legitimising myth of real "Maoriness" by Borrell, 2005; Chadwick, 1998).

Houkamau and Sibley (2010) then used Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) on responses to a pool of 92 items by 270 participants recruited on the internet. EFA is a method used to explore how items cluster together to form a number of latent dimensions. A six-factor solution emerged from the analysis, meaning there were six reliable dimensions which underlie Maori identity over 47 items drawn from the data. Descriptions of the different dimensions can be found in Table 1. The first dimension was called Group Membership Evaluation (GME), which relates to having positive feelings about one's membership in the group 'Maori'. A second aspect of this dimension is how central and important to the self one's identity as a 'Maori' is. Another dimension was named Socio-Political Consciousness (SPC). This dimensions indexes beliefs in the continued importance of colonial history and the injustices experienced by Maori. This dimension also assess the degree to which the participant feels they actively engage in the political process and 'stand up' for Maori political rights. The dimension of Cultural Efficacy and Active Identity Engagement (CEAIE) measures the extent to which one believes they have the personal resources to engage with other Maori in traditional cultural contexts.

The fourth dimension of the scale was named Spirituality, which measures engagement with traditional Maori concepts of spirituality like recognising tipuna (ancestors) and that which is tapu (sacred). …

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