“You gotta respect”: Mexican-origin Adolescents’ Perspectives on Respect in Organized Activities


  • Andrea Vest Ettekal Tufts University
  • Erin R. Gaskin Arizona State University
  • Alex R. Lin Arizona State University &University of California, Irvine
  • Sandra D. Simpkins Arizona State University & University of California, Irvine




Respect is crucial for promoting participation and positive experiences in organized activities, especially among ethnically diverse youth. However, little is known regarding how Mexican-origin adolescents conceptualize respect and specifically how to promote respect in activities. Guided by theory and previous research, we used qualitative content analysis to elucidate perspectives on respect and features involved in the development of respect in activities. Our sample consisted of 18 Mexican-origin 7th graders who resided in the Southwest of the U.S., an area with a history of inter-ethnic group tensions. The adolescents in this study described three different types of respect:  humanity respect, respect for culture, and linguistic respect. Potential features involved in the development of respect were identified, including individual- (e.g., moral virtues), contextual (e.g., welcoming atmosphere), and inter-personal (e.g., shared experiences) features. This study increases out depth of understanding of respect in activities, identifies areas for researchers to pursue in future research, and unveils potential implications for designing activities that promote positive, respectful relationships.


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