Social Identity Threats: How Media and Discrimination Affect Muslim Americans’ Identification as Americans and Trust in the U.S. Government Academic Article uri icon


  • © The Author(s) 2019. Politicians within the United States and across many Western societies are concerned about the extent to which Muslims are successfully integrating within their countries. The present research examined how interpersonal (discrimination) and mediated (negative news coverage of Muslims) social identity threats dynamically change young Muslim Americans' strength of identification as American and Muslim, as well as their trust in the U.S. government. Data from a three-wave longitudinal survey show that Time 1, negative news coverage of Muslims (but not discrimination), significantly reduced Time 2, strength of identification as an American, which subsequently reduced Time 3, trust in the U.S. government. Muslim identification did not change as a function of interpersonal or mediated social identity threats. These findings suggest that negative media portrayals can have adverse effects on the national identification of some minority groups, and-crucially-that these effects may be stronger than those of personally experienced discrimination.

altmetric score

  • 41.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Saleem, M., Wojcieszak, M. E., Hawkins, I., Li, M., & Ramasubramanian, S.

citation count

  • 13

publication date

  • February 2019