The development and validation of a multidimensional scale of perceived Latino threat

Arynn A. Infante, Xia Wang, Dustin Pardini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Perceived threat is a central feature of theories of intergroup behaviour, such as the minority threat perspective. Studies have linked perceptions of Latinos as threatening the interests of Whites to Whites’ support for more punitive policies in the U.S., especially in areas experiencing a recent growth in the Latino population. This research, however, is limited in that researchers rarely measure perceptions of Latino threat directly and have yet to expand on the limitations of existing measures. To this end, this study was designed to develop a 20-item Perceived Latino Threat Scale (PLTS) and assess its association with relevant external criteria, including several vehicles for the social control of Latinos. The scale was administered to students attending a Southwestern university during the Republican Party presidential primaries (Study 1: N = 332) and just prior to the 2016 election (Study 2: N = 259). Bifactor analyses indicated that perceptions of Latino threat can be subdivided into four dimensions: economic, political, criminal, and opportunity threat. Higher perceptions of Latino threat, especially economic threat, were associated with support for Donald Trump, being a Republican and politically conservative, and harbouring punitive attitudes toward crime and border control. Implications for theory and research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2245-2267
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2022


  • Latino threat
  • bifactor model
  • immigration
  • intergroup relations
  • social control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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