What is it about?

Cultural identity is central to how a person feels about their lived experiences inside their cultural group. We argue that a critical part of a person’s identity is their cultural embeddedness, which is formed through the internalization and embodiment of cultural values, beliefs, and practices. In this study, we describe our development of a self-report measure that enables Māori, the Indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand, to characterize their cultural embeddedness along these three dimensions.

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Why is it important?

Being able to measure alignment and connection to cultural values, beliefs, and practises will support our ability to clarify the distinction between ethnicity and culture. Measuring ethnic differences in outcomes like wellbeing is important, but it is just the first step in truly understanding the drivers of these different outcomes. The Māori Cultural Embeddedness Scale (MaCES), which we developed in the current article, provides a pathway for more precise research about the role of cultural beliefs, practises, and values, in outcomes like wellbeing.


As an Indigenous Māori person, I have proudly imbued my cultural experiences and knowledge sets into this measure. The MaCES presents an exciting opportunity for an exponential number of research pathways. However, I want to be clear that it is not a measure of Māoriness. To ensure that the scale is used ethically, I implore all interested parties to contact me or otherwise ensure that you have very strong Māori cultural advice before using the measure

Ririwai Fox
Victoria University of Wellington

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The Māori Cultural Embeddedness Scale (MaCES): Initial evidence of structural validity., Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, May 2023, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/cdp0000590.
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