The Multi-Dimensional Model of Māori Identity and Cultural Engagement: Item Response Theory Analysis of Scale Properties

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Abstract

We argue that there is a need for culture-specific measures of identity that delineate the factors that most make sense for specific cultural groups. One such measure, recently developed specifically for Māori peoples, is the Multi-Dimensional Model of Māori Identity and Cultural Engagement (MMM-ICE). Māori are the indigenous peoples of New Zealand. The MMM-ICE is a 6-factor measure that assesses the following aspects of identity and cultural engagement as Māori: (a) group membership evaluation, (b) socio-political consciousness, (c) cultural efficacy and active identity engagement, (d) spirituality, (e) interdependent self-concept, and (f) authenticity beliefs. This article examines the scale properties of the MMM-ICE using item response theory (IRT) analysis in a sample of 492 Māori. The MMM-ICE subscales showed reasonably even levels of measurement precision across the latent trait range. Analysis of age (cohort) effects further indicated that most aspects of Māori identification tended to be higher among older Māori, and these cohort effects were similar for both men and women. This study provides novel support for the reliability and measurement precision of the MMM-ICE. The study also provides a first step in exploring change and stability in Māori identity across the life span. A copy of the scale, along with recommendations for scale scoring, is included.

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