Main Article Content
By Megan Grabel, Psychology; Sarah Lucas, Spanish
Advisor: Farrah Jacquez
Presentation ID: PM_A21
Abstract: Despite being the second largest growing ethnic group in the country, (U.S. Census Bureau., 2017) Latinos continue to experience a high prevalence of discrimination (Sanchez, G. R., & Espinosa, P. R., 2016). Ethnic identity has been previously shown to buffer the effects of discrimination-related stress (Torres & Ong, 2010). The present study aims to determine whether ethnic identity moderates the relationship between perceived discrimination and traumatic stress among Latinos. Measures assessing participants' self-reported experiences of discrimination, symptoms of traumatic stress, and ethnic identity were collected along with basic demographic information. There was a significant positive relationship between perceived discrimination and traumatic stress, r = .617, n = 70, p < .001. Ethnic identity moderated the relationship, B = .03 (SE = .01), t(66) = 2.97, p < .01. Simple slopes analysis indicated that the positive association between perceived discrimination and traumatic stress is stronger at higher (B = .99, p < .001; 1 SD above the mean) versus lower (B = .53, p < .001; 1 SD below the mean) levels of ethnic identity. Our finding that individuals with low levels of ethnic identity fare better than those with high levels of ethnic identity is inconsistent with previous research showing ethnic identity to be a protective factor among other populations (e.g., Torres & Ong, 2010). The results of this study indicate a discrepancy in the role that ethnic identity plays for Latinos that needs to be further researched to bolster resilience and reduce negative mental health outcomes among Latinos.