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09-05-2020 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 10/2020

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 10/2020

Discrimination, Skin Color Satisfaction, and Adjustment among Latinx American Youth

Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 10/2020
Lisa Kiang, Kathy Espino-Pérez, Gabriela L. Stein
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Race-related biases and discrimination and easily observable race-related characteristics, such as skin color, appear to go hand and hand, but it remains unclear how these factors work together to shape youth development. The current study addresses this gap by investigating skin color satisfaction as a mediator between perceptions of discrimination and adjustment. Data are from a cross-sectional sample of Latinx youth (N = 175; Mage = 12.86; 51.4% female; 86.9% US-born) who completed measures of foreigner-based objectification, peer discrimination, adult discrimination, self-esteem, depressive symptoms, and the importance or value attributed to academic success. Evidence of significant indirect effects of skin color satisfaction in the links between foreigner-based objectification and self-esteem as well as academic importance was found. Skin color satisfaction did not mediate links between either peer or adult discrimination and self-esteem, depression, and academic importance. The results provide support that being perceived as a foreigner has negative implications for Latinx youth adjustment through skin color satisfaction. The present study expands understanding of how different forms of differential treatment may affect minoritized youth. Implications and future research ideas are discussed.

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