Correlates of Intra- and Inter-Group Discrimination and Associations with Mental Health among Latina/os
Rosas Morales, Carlos E
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There is increasing concern about the mental health of Latina/os in the United States (U.S.), especially in the face of an unprecedented rise in anti-immigrant sentiments and legislation. Latina/o college students, in particular, report high rates of depression, anxiety, and other negative mental health-related outcomes. Prior empirical work suggests that perceived racial/ethnic discrimination contributes to these negative mental health outcomes. Although Latina/os also report discrimination from other Latina/os (intragroup discrimination), most research on discrimination has focused on intergroup discrimination. This is an important gap in the literature as some work suggest that intragroup discrimination may also be distressing for Latina/os. Further, not all Latina/os perceive the same levels of both types of discrimination. Several sociodemographic, constitutional, and behavioral/psychological factors may influence perceptions of discrimination. Our knowledge on the role of these factors as correlates of intergroup discrimination is limited. And our understanding of these factors on perceptions of intragroup discrimination are almost non-existent. To fill these empirical gaps, the present study examined the associations between sociodemographic (gender, nationality), constitutional (skin color, socially assigned race), and behavioral/psychological factors (ethnic identity) and inter- and intra-group discrimination among a sample of Latina/o college students. Additionally, the study examined the relationships among inter- and intra-group discrimination and self-reported measures of depressive and anxiety symptoms and overall mental health. Findings showed that only skin color was related to perceptions of intergroup discrimination, such that darker-skinned individuals perceived more intergroup discrimination than their lighter-skinned counterparts. Both inter- and intra-group discrimination were related with worse mental health.