Discrimination in Latinx families’ linked lives: Examining the roles of family process and youth worries.

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of Family Psychology




Family discrimination; Family modifications; Maternal warmth; Psychosocial functioning; Worries


Our goal was to test a prospective indirect effects model to examine whether maternal and youth exposures to discrimination were linked to adolescent adjustment (i.e., grade point average [GPA], internalizing symptoms and externalizing symptoms) via maternal warmth and family anti-immigrant behavior modifications and whether youth anti-immigrant worries qualified these relations. Prior research has demonstrated that individual exposures to ethnic–racial discrimination are associated with poor adjustment among Latinx adolescents. Less research has evaluated the impact of discrimination from a family lens or focused on identifying the mechanism via which discrimination impacts adolescent adjustment. Data from a schoolbased sample of 547 Latinx adolescents (55% female; 88.1% U.S. born) across 2 years were used. Study hypotheses were tested using structural equation modeling (SEM) in Mplus. Whereas adolescents’ discrimination exposures were associated with poorer adjustment via disruptions to maternal warmth, mothers’ discrimination exposures were associated with lowered adolescent internalizing symptoms via family anti-immigrant behavior modifications. Further, prospective negative relations between warmth and internalizing and GPA were attenuated in the context of adolescents’ greater anti-immigrant worries. By exploring discrimination in the family context and examining mechanisms via which discrimination impacts adolescent adjustment, the study offers a more comprehensive picture of the pernicious toll discrimination can have on the family lives of Latinx youth.