Foreigner objectification, English proficiency, and adjustment among youth and mothers from Latinx American backgrounds

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Laura McLaughlin Gonzalez, Associate Professor (Creator)
Gabriela L. Stein, Associate Professor (Creator)
Andrew "Andy" Supple, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: Objectives: Understanding the experience of foreigner objectification is relevant given the possibility of ethnocentrism, xenophobia, and mistrust of immigrants in the United States. The present study examines main and interactive effects of objectification and English proficiency on developmental outcomes among immigrant mothers and children. Method: Our study includes 173 youth from Latinx backgrounds (52% female, Mage = 12.86 years, SD = .68; 87% United States-born) and their mothers (Mage = 38.26 SD = 5.65; all foreign-born) from emerging immigrant contexts. Results: Bivariate and regression analyses suggest that lower English proficiency was associated with more objectification for youth; whereas higher English proficiency was associated with more objectification for mothers. For youth only, English proficiency was positively correlated with American identity. For both parents and youth, foreigner objectification was linked with negative psychological outcomes (e.g., mothers’ depressive symptoms, youths’ low self-esteem). Conclusions: Being subjected to assumptions that challenge individuals’ social status can be psychologically harmful. Nuanced developmental variation, and implications regarding the dual role of objectification and English proficiency are discussed.

Additional Information

Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology
Language: English
Date: 2018
adjustment, foreigner objectification, English proficiency, American identity, Latinx families

Email this document to