Bullying of Mexican Immigrant Students by Mexican American Students: An Examination of Intracultural Bullying

Julian J. Mendez, Sheri Bauman, Raphael M. Guillory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


This article reports on a study using qualitative methods to investigate intracultural bullying, specifically, bullying between Mexican American (MA) and Mexican immigrant (MI) high school students. Previous research has reported specific cultural conflicts and discrimination within ethnic groups due to differences in acculturation. The purpose of this study is to determine whether this phenomenon is reflected in bullying within a high school context. In-depth interviews are conducted with 6 students from each group (MA and MI) in Grades 9 through 12 at a predominantly Hispanic public school in the state of Washington. The data reveal that bullying does occur between the two groups, with Mexican American students consistently bullying Mexican immigrant students. Two major themes emerge from the data: language barrier and superiority. There are also four themes that arise from the Mexican American student participants that were not found among the Mexican immigrant student responses. These themes are bullying cycle, isolation, alienation, and school factors. Recommendations for practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-304
Number of pages26
JournalHispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2012


  • Mexican American
  • Mexican immigrant
  • bullying
  • intracultural
  • victimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language


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