Coping (together) with hate: Strategies used by Mexican-origin families in response to racial–ethnic discrimination

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Stephanie I. Coard, Associate Professor (Creator)
Laura McLaughlin Gonzalez, Associate Professor (Creator)
Michelle Y. Martin Romero (Creator)
Gabriela L. Stein, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Coping in the context of racial–ethnic discrimination is often framed as an individualistic process, where the focus is on how the individual deals with the racialized stressor to mitigate its negative effects. However, individuals exist within social contexts including the family and coping processes may operate interdependently as well. Further, racialized stressors have the potential to disrupt the entire family system, regardless of whether the experience in that moment is shared among all its members. Despite these realities, few studies have considered how Latinx youth and their parents may cope together in the face of racial–ethnic discrimination. To address this gap, we analyzed focus group data from Mexican-origin adolescents (n = 17; Mage = 12.8; 71% girls) and their parents (n = 17; Mage = 42.8; 82% mothers) to explore the coping strategies used in response to racial–ethnic discrimination. An inductive thematic analysis identified a broad range of coping strategies representing both individualistic and interdependent approaches to deal with racial–ethnic discrimination. Strategies included (a) reframing (with pride) and ignoring an encounter, (b) standing up for oneself, (c) talking issues out, (d) problem-solving together, and (e) protection tactics. These findings provide evidence for the ways in which Mexican-origin families help adolescents cope with racial–ethnic discrimination and offer a glimpse as to how adolescents may help their families cope as well. Future research is needed to further explore the interdependent nature of coping as Latinx family members protect and support one another in the face of pervasive racialized stressors.

Additional Information

Journal of Family Psychology, 36(1), 3–12.
Language: English
Date: 2022
coping, families, adolescents, Mexican-origin, racial–ethnic discrimination

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