Latino College Student Adjustment: Does an Increased Presence Offset Minority-Status and Acculturative Stresses?1


  • 1

    This research was supported by a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship and a research grant from Pitzer College to the first author. The authors wish to thank Larry Jordan for his assistance in generating the stratified sample for this study. We also wish to thank Juanita Lewis and Gladys Chamberlain for their assistance in collecting the incoming surveys and in fielding students' questions.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Norma Rodriguez, Pitzer College, 1050 N. Mills, Claremont, CA 91711. e-mail:


This study examined whether minority-status stresses and acculturative stresses increase the risk of psychological maladjustment of Latino students at a university where Latinos constitute the largest ethnic group. Participants were 338 Latino (228 Mexican American, 110 Central American) college students who responded to a mailed survey. The results of 2 separate hierarchical regression analyses of psychological distress and well-being, controlling for demographic (gender, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity). sociocultural (level of acculturation), college role (generic college stresses), and personal (academic self-confidence) influences provided partial support for our hypothesis and demonstrated the incremental predictive validity of acculturative stresses, but not of minority-status stresses. Results are discussed in terms of the variety of stresses that Latino college students are likely to experience.