Latino adolescents' experiences of discrimination across the first 2 years of high school: correlates and influences on educational outcomes

Child Dev. 2011 Mar-Apr;82(2):508-19. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2010.01524.x. Epub 2011 Mar 9.


Changes in perceptions of discrimination were examined with 668 Latino students (62% Mexican American; 56% female; M(age) = 14.6 years). Adolescents' reports of discrimination increased across the first 2 years of high school. Perceptions of discrimination were higher for boys and for primary language brokers, as well as for adolescents in schools with more ethnically diverse student bodies but a less diverse teaching staff. Path analysis revealed that higher levels of discrimination and increases in discrimination across time influenced Latino adolescents' academic outcomes (i.e., grades, absences) indirectly via their influences on perceptions of school climate. Findings highlight previously understudied individual and school contextual factors that shape experiences of discrimination and the mechanisms by which discrimination indirectly influences Latino adolescents' outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / ethnology*
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Educational Status*
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Peer Group
  • Prejudice*
  • Schools
  • Social Adjustment*
  • Social Environment
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires