Purdue University Graduate School

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Anticipated Discrimination and Psychological Distress Among Latinx Emerging Adults: Examining Moderators

posted on 2022-07-26, 04:00 authored by Adilene OsnayaAdilene Osnaya


Purpose: Understanding how individuals cope depends on understanding their appraisals of anticipated challenges. Efforts to address the effects of discrimination and understand individual differences in coping have not employed systematic theories that account for victims’ active efforts to cope over time. Building from a transactional model of appraisal and coping, the present research examines the relative impact of anticipated versus actual experiences of discrimination on psychological distress among Latinx emerging adults. Moreover, to the extent that anticipated discrimination and distress are associated, cognitive and emotion regulatory mechanisms spanning general capacity, ethnic identity, and bicultural competence were explored. Methods: Seventy-three Latinx participants recruited from a Predominantly White Institution (PWI) in the Midwest completed surveys about ethnic identity, emotion regulation, bicultural competence, experiences of discrimination, anticipated discrimination, and demographics. Thirty-one out of these 73 participants completed a follow-up survey comprised of the same questions as in Time 1. Contributions of anticipated discrimination, above and beyond discrimination, and moderators of the anticipated discrimination – psychological distress relationship were tested using hierarchical multiple regressions. Results: While discrimination did not account for significant variance in psychological distress above and beyond actual experiences of discrimination, analyses of order effects revealed that anticipated discrimination accounted for a significant amount of variance in psychological distress outcomes when entered first in the model for both current and subsequent distress. Moderation analyses did not yield statistically significant results of centrality, private regard, emotion regulation, or bicultural competence. Conclusions: Contrary to predictions, ethnic identity variables, bicultural competence, and emotion regulation capacity did not moderate the relationship between anticipated discrimination and distress. However, the present study underscores the importance of continued efforts to understand the mechanisms that influence anticipated discrimination as it has a significant negative effect on the mental health outcomes for Latinx individuals.


Arthur F. Krueger Scholarship Fund for Purdue University Clinical Psychology students

SPSSI Clara Mayo Grant


Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Psychological Sciences

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

David Rollock

Additional Committee Member 2

Sean P Lane

Additional Committee Member 3

Lucas Torres

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