Am I "Chinese' or "Scottish'? Children's perceptions of the adaptive nature of Chinese Scottish children's dual identities

Qian Dai*, Joanne Williams, Evelyn McGregor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chinese Scottish children (children who are born and live in Scotland with Chinese parents) face challenges in establishing their identity. However, there is lack of research that investigates ethnic minority Chinese children's identity and associated feelings about the dual social context in which they live. The study introduced a social identity vignettes task to examine Chinese Scottish and White Scottish children's perceptions of Chinese ethnic identity and Scottish national identity of a Scottish born Chinese character within two contrasting socio-cultural contexts (Scottish vs. Chinese). This study examines whether children's ethnic and national identity and feelings of positivity are adaptive and sensitive to social context. In addition it explored age-related changes in perceptions of ethnic and national identification in the vignettes. The sample comprised of 161 children (8, 11, and 14years). The results found Chinese Scottish children and White Scottish children's judgments of the characters' ethnic identity changed with the cultural context. Both groups of children had a similar perception of vignette characters' feeling of positivity. Both Chinese and White Scottish children judged that the character would feel more positive about him/herself in the Chinese context. There was no main effect of age.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-242
Number of pages19
JournalEuropean Journal of Developmental Psychology
Issue number2
Early online date20 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Vignette
  • ethnic identity
  • national identity
  • Scottish born Chinese


Dive into the research topics of 'Am I "Chinese' or "Scottish'? Children's perceptions of the adaptive nature of Chinese Scottish children's dual identities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this