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Discrimination Hurts: The Academic, Psychological, and Physical Well-Being of Adolescents

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Requests for reprints should be sent to Virginia Huynh, UCLA Psych-Development, 1285 FH, PO Box 951563, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1563. E-mail: vwhuynh@ucla.edu

Abstract

Little is known about the frequency of ethnic or racial discrimination and its implications for Latin American and Asian youths' development. In this study, we examined if there were ethnic and generation differences among 601 12th graders from Latin American (36%), Asian (43%), and European (19%) backgrounds in the frequency of peer, adult, and daily discrimination, and whether discrimination predicted their well-being. Adolescents from Latin American and Asian backgrounds reported more adult and peer discrimination than their peers from European backgrounds. Latin American youth reported more adult discrimination than their Asian peers. Discrimination predicted lower grade point averages and self-esteem, and more depressive symptoms, distress, and physical complaints. Ethnic identity, ethnic socialization, and race rejection sensitivity did not moderate the associations between discrimination and well-being.

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