Profiles of Coping with Ethnic-Racial Discrimination and Latina/o Adolescents’ Adjustment

Elana R. McDermott, Adriana J. Umaña-Taylor, Katharine H. Zeiders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The approaches Latina/o youth use for coping with discrimination have important consequences for their adjustment. Yet, little research has examined how adolescents draw on different coping strategies and how patterns of strategies may differentially predict their outcomes. The current investigation examined adolescents’ patterns of coping strategies, changes in these patterns over time, and whether profile membership or transitions in profile membership related to adolescent adjustment. Among a longitudinal sample of Latina/o adolescents (N= 323, 49.5% female, M age = 15.31 years), three profiles of coping strategies emerged: Passive and Moderately Proud, Confrontative, and Proactive. Latent Transition Analysis showed that these profiles were stable over time, that a majority of youth remained in the same profile of strategies across three years, and that the profiles were differentially related to adolescents’ adjustment. The findings showed that individuals in the Proactive profile reported higher self-esteem and academic motivation than adolescents drawing on different repertoires of coping strategies. These results provide new insights regarding the concurrence of strategies Latina/o youth use to cope with ethnic-racial discrimination and suggest that the adoption of proactive strategies as part of a repertoire of coping strategies could potentially reduce the negative effects of discrimination among adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)908-923
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2019


  • Academic
  • Adolescent
  • Coping
  • Ethnic-racial discrimination
  • Latina/o
  • Mental health
  • Self-esteem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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