Do I belong? – How negative stereotypes influence the social relationships of adolescents with migration background in school contexts

"Do I belong?" is a CATALPA project and part of the Junior Research Group “Stereotype Threat”.

Does the ethnicity and thus the expectation that students with migration background are stereotyped impair equal opportunities? "Do I belong?" deals with the consequences of perceived stereotype threat for the social inclusion and social relations of young people with a migration background in the German school context.


Project goals and research questions

The project investigates the consequences of perceived stereotype threat for the social belonging and social relationships of adolescents with migration background in the German school context.

Not all ethnic groups of children and adolescents with migration background are equally integrated into the German educational system. Students originating from Turkey, South-East Europe, and Arabic countries show lower academic performance than their native peers. Negative performance-related stereotypes can contribute to these ethnic disparities in education. Previous research showed that perceived stereotype threat can reduce immigrant students’ test performance and learning. The proposed research project investigates whether stereotype threat reduces negatively stereotyped students’ social belonging to the academic domain and their social approach motivation (i.e., the motivation to initiate and maintain positive social relationships with peers in the educational domain). These social consequences of stereotype threat could decrease the social capital of students with migration background and thus contribute to ethnic educational disparities. Moreover, the proposed project investigates the generalizability of these effects for social approach motivation towards members of the ethnic in- and out-group as well as in face-to-face and digital contact situations.

  • Dr. Laura Froehlich

  • The project is funded by the German Research Foundation (FR 4503/1-1). Further information also in the project data base of DFG.

    • Nathalie Bick (Doctoral Researcher)
    • Julien Braun (Research Assistant)
    • Jennifer Hochstein (Research Assistant)
  • September 2021 – December 2022

  • Froehlich, L., Brokjøb, L. G., Nikitin, J., & Martiny, S. E., (accepted). Integration or isolation: Social identity threat relates to immigrant students’ sense of belonging and social approach motivation in the academic context. Journal of Social Issues.