Flourishing Privately but Languishing Publicly: Ethnic Identity’s Contribution to Understanding Eudaimonic Wellbeing

Mary J. Arneaud, Nicole Alea, Theodore E.A. Waters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The paper probes the meaning of wellbeing by examining whether ethnic identity is related to private and public conceptualisations of eudaimonic wellbeing. Private and public eudaimonic wellbeing are assessed as positive relations with others and social integration. Ethnic identity is a type of social identity that is meaningful in contexts of enduring inter-ethnic group contact. Fiji and Trinidad and Tobago (TT), nations with contact between two major ethnic groups for over a century, are the contexts for a preliminary exploration. Young adults (Fiji N = 38, 19–26 years old; TT N = 41, 18–25 years old) completed measures of positive relations with others (private eudaimonic wellbeing), social integration (public eudaimonic wellbeing), and ethnic identity development. Across the nations, a stronger sense of ethnic identity, or commitment to the ingroup, predicted better positive relations with others but worse social integration. Ethnic identity thus seems to be a key construct in understanding positive private, but negative public eudaimonic wellbeing among young adults in contexts of ethnic diversity. Findings are discussed by considering how implications of ethnic diversity (competitive inter-group relations, inter-group contact making ethnic group membership salient) might be related to ethnic identity development, and private and public eudaimonic wellbeing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number14156
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • ethnic diversity
  • ethnic identity
  • eudaimonic wellbeing
  • positive relations with others
  • social integration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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