Date of Award

Summer 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Torres, Lucas

Second Advisor

De St. Aubin, Ed

Third Advisor

Oswald, Debra


The present study sought to elucidate the cognitive, affective, and behavioral components associated with the experience of racial/ethnic microaggressions among Latina/os, and the mental health outcomes of this form of discrimination. The study examined data from 175 Mexican and Mexican-American Latina/o adults recruited from a large Latina/o ethnic festival in a moderately-sized Midwestern city. Methodology of the present study incorporated innovative materials, including a quantitative measure of racial/ethnic microaggressions and a vignette to elicit an experience of a racial/ethnic microaggression. Results showed that past six-month experiences with racial/ethnic microaggressions are predictive of psychological distress. Overall, one's greater affective stress response to a microaggression experience resulted in increased probability of the participant having clinically-significant psychological distress, while use of social coping was protective against psychological distress. Differences were determined for sociodemographic variables, including gender and nativity status. The present study provides better understanding of the psychological components associated with racial/ethnic microaggressions, and offers insight for theory, future research, and clinical practice with Latina/os.