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01-05-2011 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 5/2011

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 5/2011

Ethnic-Racial Socialization and Adjustment Among Latino College Students: The Mediating Roles of Ethnic Centrality, Public Regard, and Perceived Barriers to Opportunity

Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 5/2011
Deborah Rivas-Drake


Parents’ efforts to socialize their children around issues of ethnicity and race have implications for well-being in several life domains, including academic and psychological adjustment. The present study tested a multiple mediator model in which parental ethnic-racial socialization was linked to psychological adjustment through two dimensions of ethnic identity (ethnic centrality and public regard) as well as two types of perceived barriers to opportunity (language and economic). Data were drawn from a sample of Latino students (N = 227; 65% women) attending a highly selective university. Results suggest that cultural socialization was related to self-esteem, depressive symptoms, and physical symptoms, and that part of its association with self-esteem was mediated by ethnic centrality beliefs. In contrast, preparation for bias had few direct associations with adjustment in this sample; this type of ethnic-racial socialization primarily functioned through its association with public regard and perceived language barriers to upward mobility. Moreover, in predicting self-esteem, public regard and perceived language barriers exhibited equally important roles as mediators of preparation for bias. These findings extend previous research, and implications for future research on ethnic-racial socialization among Latinos are discussed.

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