Latinx Adolescents’ Peer Ethnic Discrimination in After-School Activities and Activity Experiences

Ting-Lan Ma, Mark Vincent B. Yu, Stephanie Soto-Lara, Sandra D. Simpkins


Grounded in ecological frameworks, this study examines (a) the extent to which Latinx adolescents’ perceptions of peer ethnic discrimination were associated with their participation in organized after-school activities, activity type, and ethnic composition; (b) different patterns of perceived peer ethnic discrimination; and (c) associations between discrimination patterns with key activity experiences including psychological engagement, perceived peer support, perceived leader support, and positive feelings in the activities. Using a pattern-centered approach, we applied latent profile analysis to analyze the data from 204 Latinx adolescents (53% female, M age = 12.40) in Southwest United States. Latinx adolescents who did not participate in organized after-school activities perceived higher peer ethnic discrimination than Latinx adolescents who participated. Latinx adolescents who were the numerical ethnic majority in activities reported lower discrimination than those who were the numerical minority. Among those who participated, 4 patterns of peer ethnic discrimination Latinx adolescents experienced in activities were identified. These profiles included moderate discrimination (4%), minimal discrimination (21%), no discrimination (64%), and somewhat negative beliefs (11%), which were differentially related to adolescents’ activity outcomes. Adolescents in the no discrimination group reported the most positive activity outcomes and those in the moderate discrimination group reported the most negative activity experiences. Adolescents who experienced little discrimination but felt other peers held negative beliefs about their ethnicity reported significantly lower psychological engagement and peer support than the no discrimination group. These findings highlight the importance of examining adolescents’ varying patterns of perceived ethnic discrimination in activities and provides ways that activity practitioners can optimize organized activity settings for Latinx adolescents.


discrimination; Latinx youth; organized activities; after-school activities; extracurricular

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Copyright (c) 2020 Ting-Lan Ma, Mark Vicent B. Yu, Stephanie Soto-Lara, Sandra D. Simpkins

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