Protective effects of ethnic identity on Mexican American college students' psychological well-being

Maria I. Iturbide, Marcela Raffaelli, Gustavo Carlo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current study investigated whether different ethnic identity components moderate the associations between acculturative stress and psychological adjustment among Mexican American college students (N = 148; 67% female) who completed self-report surveys. For women, ethnic affirmation/belonging and ethnic identity achievement moderated the relation between acculturative stress and depression at low but not high levels of acculturative stress. Among men with low levels of other group orientation, levels of self-esteem were similar regardless of levels of acculturative stress. Discussion focuses on the role of ethnic identity in Latino students' psychological adjustment and of protective factors that buffer students from acculturative stress. Future research should identify other protective factors that serve as buffers for students experiencing high levels of acculturative stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)536-552
Number of pages17
JournalHispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2009


  • Acculturative stress
  • Ethnic identity
  • Mexican American college students
  • Psychological well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language


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