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

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.

The project is part of the Junior Research Group “Stereotype Threat” in the research cluster D²L² at the FernUniversität in Hagen and is funded by the German Research Foundation (FR 4503/1-1)

Project leads: Dr. Laura Froehlich

Project duration: September 2021 – August 2022


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.


Team Members

  • Dr. Laura Froehlich (Junior Research Group Leader)
  • Nathalie Bick (Doctoral Researcher)
  • Julien Braun (Research Assistant)
  • Jennifer Hochstein (Research Assistant)