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Presentation Master's thesis - Isa Last - Developmental Psychology

Last modified on 11-07-2024 11:06
Perceived Discrimination and School Adjustment Among Immigrant Youth: The Mediating Effect of Psychological Distress and the Moderating Role
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Start date
22-07-2024 11:00
End date
22-07-2024 12:00

Roeterseilandcampus - Gebouw L, Straat: Nieuwe Achtergracht 129-B, Ruimte: L0.10

Global migration has significantly increased classroom diversity, particularly in the Netherlands, where 28.9% of adolescents have an intergenerational immigration background. This study investigates how perceived discrimination impacts school adjustment among immigrant youth in the Netherlands, focusing on the mediating role of psychological distress and the moderating role of cultural identity.

Immigrant youth often face discrimination in educational settings due to their ethnic backgrounds, leading to increased psychological distress and poorer school adjustment outcomes compared to their native peers. The study explores how the incorporation of ethnic heritage and national affiliation within a cultural identity influences these effects. Previous research indicates that strong national identification can exacerbate the impact of discrimination on psychological distress, while strong ethnic identification may serve as a protective factor. However, findings on the protective effects are inconsistent, research on the moderating role of national identification is limited and there combined influence within the framework of a cultural identity is understudied.

This study addresses the gap by examining the combined influence of national and ethnic identification within the broader construct of cultural identity. Utilizing a sample of 330 immigrant adolescents, the research employs a cross-sectional, correlational design to explore these relationships. Findings reveal that perceived discrimination significantly increases psychological distress, which negatively impacts school adjustment, including academic, behavioral, and emotional dimensions. The study further demonstrates that cultural identity did not moderate these effects, in contrary to predictions.

These findings underscore the complex interplay between discrimination, mental health, and educational outcomes, highlighting the need for targeted interventions to support the well-being and academic success of immigrant youth in diverse educational environments.