Ethnic identity affirmation as a strength for Mexican descent academic outcomes: Psychological functioning and academic attitudes as mediators

Brandy Piña-Watson, Ashley J. Martinez, Lauren N. Cruz, Jasmín D. Llamas, Belem G. López

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ethnic identity (EI) affirmation has been related to positive academic outcomes for Latina/o youth. However, there is a dearth of research examining mediating mechanisms to this relationship. To address this gap, we examine psychological functioning (depressive symptoms and life satisfaction) as a mediator in the relationship between EI affirmation and academic outcomes (i.e., academic motivation, academic skepticism, and ambition). Participants were 524 Mexican descent adolescents in South Texas. Participants completed a number of self-report questionnaires to measure each of the variables in the hypothesized model. Results demonstrate that feeling good about one’s ethnic group membership (or having higher EI affirmation) is a strength that not only is related to positive psychological functioning but also promotes positive academic outcomes. Educators and mental health practitioners may benefit from engaging in a curriculum that aims to improve EI affirmation to promote positive psychological functioning, and thus better academic outcomes for Mexican descent youth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1155-1170
Number of pages16
JournalPsychology in the Schools
Volume55
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2018

Keywords

  • Latino adolescents
  • academic ambition
  • depression
  • ethnic identity affirmation
  • life satisfaction

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