Associations Between Adolescents' Perceived Discrimination and Prosocial Tendencies: The Mediating Role of Mexican American Values

Aerika S. Brittian, Megan O'Donnell, George P. Knight, Gustavo Carlo, Adriana J. Umaña-Taylor, Mark W. Roosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


Experiences with perceived discrimination (e. g., perceptions of being treated unfairly due to race or ethnicity) are expected to impact negatively youths' prosocial development. However, resilience often occurs in light of such experiences through cultural factors. The current longitudinal study examined the influence of perceived discrimination on the emergence of Mexican American adolescents' later prosocial tendencies, and examined the mediating role of Mexican American values (e. g., familism, respect, and religiosity). Participants included 749 adolescents (49 % female) interviewed at 5th, 7th, and 10th grade. Results of the current study suggested that, although perceived discrimination was associated negatively with some types of prosocial tendencies (e. g., compliant, emotional, and dire) and related positively to public prosocial helping, the associations were mediated by youths' Mexican American values. Directions for future research are presented and practical implications for promoting adolescents' resilience are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)328-341
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of youth and adolescence
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013



  • Adolescents
  • Discrimination
  • Mexican American values
  • Prosocial tendencies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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