Mexican American college students' perceptions of youth success

Sarah E. Killoren, Cara Streit, Edna C. Alfaro, Melissa Y. Delgado, Natalie Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Given the recent research agenda focused on positive youth development (PYD), it is important to consider PYD from the perspective of young people. Using qualitative data collected from open-ended responses, 141 Mexican American college students (Ages 18-22; 81.6% female; 84.2% U.S.-born) reported on their perceptions of the definition of youth success and ideas about what contributes to youth success. We conducted inductive thematic analysis and found that Mexican American college students identified definitions of success related to 3 themes: academic (e.g., school success), individual (e.g., personal qualities), and social (e.g., positive family relationships) factors. Further, factors relating to the individual (e.g., school involvement), relationships (e.g., supportive family), and the environment (e.g., resource availability) emerged as important contributors to youth success. Academic success, youths' personal qualities, and positive and supportive family relationships and friendships were of particular importance to Mexican American college students' perspectives on definitions of youth success and contributors to youth success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-102
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Latina/o Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2017


  • College students
  • Family relationships
  • Mexican American
  • Positive youth development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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