Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Spring 5-14-2014

Major Department or Program



Erin Pahlke


Little psychological research has explored Latino adolescents’ identity and their experiences with ethnic discrimination. Latino college students’ ethnic identity may be protective against the negative effects of discrimination. Recent studies have documented both positive and negative effects of having strong national identity among minority ethnic group members. The current study examined how Latino adolescents’ ethnic and national identities are related to their perceptions of and affective responses to discrimination. We explored the relationships between ethnic and national identity, perceived discrimination, and the amount of stress and type of affective responses following experiences with discrimination in thirty-five Mexican-American students. Ethnic identity was positively correlated to perceptions of discrimination, as predicted. Additionally, ethnic and national identities were also positively related. This finding indicates that future research on this topic may need to consider ethnic and national identities in tandem. Importantly, bicultural youth scored higher on the measure of perceived discrimination than non-bicultural participants.

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Subject Headings

Mexican American youth -- Ethnic identity, Race discrimination -- United States -- History -- 21st century, Identity (Philosophical concept) -- Adolescents, Minority college students -- Washington (State), Biculturalism -- Psychological aspects, Nationalism -- United States -- Case studies, Social sciences, Whitman College -- Dissertation collection 2014 -- Psychology Department

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Public Accessible Thesis

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