In recent studies, it’s been proven that discrimination among youth can affect their mental health… the University of Missouri did some research on Latino immigrant youth and found that more and more were showing signs of depression and such.
The doctoral candidate in the MU Dept. of Human Development and Family Science, Alexandra Davis said, “It’s important to consider that experience discrimination starts to wear on cognitive and emotional resources that youth may have, which an lead to symptoms of depression, sadness and withdrawal. Once they are experiencing these withdrawal symptoms, it becomes harder for them to engage in selfless forms of helping because they have less resources available to give to others, it works both ways. Experiencing discrimination and becoming more withdrawn and less engaged in helping behaviors, in turn, might contribute to depressive symptoms. It can become a cycle.”
The study was done among 302 Latino immigrants between the ages of 13 and 17, the years where having a peer is important among teens.
In this study, the teens had to complete a questionnaires over a span of a year
where they were asked about discrimination experiences, mental health and prosocial behaviors (e.g. volunteering or helping others).
The studies co-author Gustavo Carlo said that the study was of youths that were recent arrivals to the U.S. who lived here for five or less years and the study was was to observe changes over time… the study
Carlo said, “The reports youth provided on discrimination are not necessarily experiences that have accumulated over a long period of time. This perceived discrimination over a short period of time is already having a significant impact on their mental health and their social functioning.”
Alexandra Davis said that beware of the discrimination in marginalized groups because discrimination undermines positive social behaviors.
Carlo finally said that “For Latino adolescents and racial and ethnic minorities, this research demonstrates that discrimination poses an uncontrollable, additional set of challenges in addition to the challenges everyone experiences, whether financial, academic or interpersonal.”
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