When do immigrant adolescents feel personally discriminated against?

Article title: When do immigrant adolescents feel personally discriminated against? Longitudinal effects of peer preference

From International Journal of Behavioral Development

The purpose of this study was to examine the role of being liked by peers for immigrant adolescents’ perceptions of personal ethnic discrimination. Authors applied a sociometric method to asses peer preference and assessed self-perceived preference. Focusing on diverse real-life contexts and accounting for developmental tasks brings a new perspective to the literature on immigrant adolescents’ personal ethnic discrimination. As such, the study advances the understanding of when immigrant adolescents perceive to be personally discriminated against. Immigrant adolescents’ daily experiences with host-national peers are central social factors in their developmental period that are pivotal for their feelings of personal ethnic discrimination. Peer interaction programs in the classroom setting that provide opportunities to build positive relationships with host-national classmates are crucial steps toward preventing feelings of personal ethnic discrimination.

Abstract

Despite research showing that immigrant adolescents differ in the degree to which they feel personally discriminated against, little is known about individual predictors of their perceived personal discrimination.We studied the role of a major developmental task in adolescence that is highly relevant for discrimination experiences: being liked by peers.We followed N ¼ 532 13-year old immigrant students (n ¼ 294 boys) in Greek high schools over 2 years to examine longitudinal links between personal ethnic discrimination and social preference among hostnational and immigrant classmates. We applied a sociometric method to asses peer preference and we assessed self-perceived preference. Cross-lagged models revealed that preference among host-national peers but not by immigrant peers predicted low personal ethnic discrimination beyond self-perceptions of preference and group ethnic discrimination. Group ethnic discrimination moderated the effect of preference among host-national peers on low personal ethnic discrimination. Peer preference, in turn, did not feed back on personal ethnic discrimination. Findings highlight the importance of being liked by host-national classmates for immigrant adolescents: it can prevent feelings of being personally discriminated against, even if they perceive their group to be discriminated against.

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Article details
Anne K. Reitz, Jens B. Asendorpf, and Frosso Motti-Stefanidi
When do immigrant adolescents feel personally discriminated against? Longitudinal effects of peer preference
International Journal of Behavioral Development May 2015 39: 197-209, first published on February 16, 2015 doi:10.1177/0165025414567008

 

 

     
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