Identity Project. Norwegian version (IP-N)
The main goal of this project is to make research-based measures available to promote ethnic identity and good psychosocial adjustment among adolescents in multicultural schools in Norway.
Many youths in multicultural schools have trouble balancing multiple ethnic and cultural identities and heritages, such as the Norwegian culture and their families’ culture, and making decisions regarding ethnic identity and cultural belongingness. Research has shown that a positive and coherent ethnic-cultural identity (ECI) relates to many dimensions of quality of life, such as mental health, psychosocial and academic adjustment. Promoting ECI-development is thus in compliance with the objectives and vision of multicultural schools, of national health policies, of education policies and the general themes of the Academic Renewal (Fagfornyelsen) that is currently being implemented.
According to minority counselors and school leaders working in multicultural high schools in Norway, identity issues are enmeshed in all the challenges their students face. However, we lack research-based interventions that can stimulate and support the students’ identity development.
The Identity Project is a universal research-based, manual-driven curriculum created in the USA ( https://umana-taylorlab.gse.harvard.edu/ ) with the goal of promoting ECI and positive developmental processes for youths in multicultural schools. It is a universal intervention with eight modules, containing information and different activities which help the students explore their ECI.
The main objective of the pilot study, The Identity Project. Norwegian Edition (IP-N), is to make available a research-based intervention to promote ECI and positive psychosocial adjustment among youths in multicultural schools in Norway.
In collaboration with five minority counselors from the Directorate of Integration and Diversity (IMDi), researchers at The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) have translated and culturally adapted the American manual to be relevant for students of Norwegian multicultural highschools. Based on knowledge about adaptation of interventions to new cultural contexts, we will pilot and evaluate the implementation of IP-N in three high schools in Eastern Norway during the 2021 fall semester. The IP-N will provide knowledge regarding the relevance of the curriculum in a multicultural Norwegian context, its acceptability, and factors that promote or prevents its implementation. One minority counselor and one teacher from each of the five IP-N classes of the schools will receive training as IP-N facilitators and implement the curriculum.
The main product of the IP-N is a revised, culturally adapted IP-N manual, which can subsequently be evaluated in a large scale randomized controlled effectiveness study.
In addition, the project will communicate new knowledge about ECI-development among youth in multicultural context in Norway.
Brit Oppedal, Avdeling for barns helse og utvikling, Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Warsame Abdullahi Ali, Avdeling for forskning og analyse av helsetjenesten, Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Kristin Gustavson, Avdeling for psykiske lidelser, Norwegian Institute of Public Health