Latino adolescents' academic success: The role of discrimination, academic motivation, and gender

Edna C. Alfaro, Adriana J. Umaña-Taylor, Melinda A. Gonzales-Backen, Mayra Y. Bámaca, Katharine H. Zeiders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

90 Scopus citations


Guided by the academic resilience perspective, the current longitudinal study examined whether academic motivation mediated the relation between Latino adolescents' (N = 221) experiences with discrimination and their academic success. The potential moderating role of gender was also examined. Using multiple group analysis in structural equation modeling, findings indicated that perceived discrimination at Wave 2 significantly predicted academic motivation at Waves 2 and 3 for boys but not girls. Additionally, for boys, academic motivation significantly mediated the relation between perceived discrimination and academic success. Findings underscore the importance of considering the long-term implications of discrimination for Latino boys' academic success. Furthermore, findings encourage moving beyond the examination of gender differences in specific academic outcomes (e.g., academic success) and focusing on how the processes leading to academic success vary by gender.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)941-962
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2009



  • Academic motivation
  • Academic success
  • Discrimination
  • Gender
  • Latino adolescents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Alfaro, E. C., Umaña-Taylor, A. J., Gonzales-Backen, M. A., Bámaca, M. Y., & Zeiders, K. H. (2009). Latino adolescents' academic success: The role of discrimination, academic motivation, and gender. Journal of Adolescence, 32(4), 941-962.