Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 48, Issue 5, pp 908–923 | Cite as

Profiles of Coping with Ethnic-Racial Discrimination and Latina/o Adolescents’ Adjustment

  • Elana R. McDermottEmail author
  • Adriana J. Umaña-Taylor
  • Katharine H. Zeiders
Empirical Research


The approaches Latina/o youth use for coping with discrimination have important consequences for their adjustment. Yet, little research has examined how adolescents draw on different coping strategies and how patterns of strategies may differentially predict their outcomes. The current investigation examined adolescents’ patterns of coping strategies, changes in these patterns over time, and whether profile membership or transitions in profile membership related to adolescent adjustment. Among a longitudinal sample of Latina/o adolescents (N= 323, 49.5% female, Mage = 15.31 years), three profiles of coping strategies emerged: Passive and Moderately Proud, Confrontative, and Proactive. Latent Transition Analysis showed that these profiles were stable over time, that a majority of youth remained in the same profile of strategies across three years, and that the profiles were differentially related to adolescents’ adjustment. The findings showed that individuals in the Proactive profile reported higher self-esteem and academic motivation than adolescents drawing on different repertoires of coping strategies. These results provide new insights regarding the concurrence of strategies Latina/o youth use to cope with ethnic-racial discrimination and suggest that the adoption of proactive strategies as part of a repertoire of coping strategies could potentially reduce the negative effects of discrimination among adolescents.


Latina/o Adolescent Coping Ethnic-racial discrimination Mental health Academic Self-esteem 


Authors’ Contributions

E.R.M. conceived the current investigation, conducted statistical analyses, and drafted the manuscript; A.U.T. designed the larger study, led and coordinated data collection, conceived the current investigation, and helped to draft the manuscript; K.H.Z. conceived the current investigation, and helped to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


This work was funded by internal seed funds from the PIs institution.

Data Sharing and Declaration

This manuscript’s data will not be deposited.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

The current study has been conducted in accordance with APA ethical guidelines for the participation of human subjects and a University Institutional Review Board approved the informed consent and procedures in this study.

Informed Consent

Informed parental consent and youth assent was obtained from all participants included in this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elana R. McDermott
    • 1
    Email author
  • Adriana J. Umaña-Taylor
    • 1
  • Katharine H. Zeiders
    • 2
  1. 1.Harvard Graduate School of EducationCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.University of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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