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Language Brokering in Adolescence: The Role of Racial-ethnic Discrimination and Cultural Mistrust on the Psychological Adjustment of Asian and Latino Language Brokers

  • Author(s): Felkey, Jenna Breanne
  • Advisor(s): Graham, Sandra
  • et al.
Abstract

Past studies on language brokering have examined how various individual and contextual factors influence the association between language brokering and mental health, but few studies have assessed how racial/ethnic discrimination or perceptions of cultural mistrust affect mental health outcomes. The goal of this study was to examine how experiences of racial/ethnic discrimination and cultural mistrust influence mental health outcomes for Latino and Asian adolescent language brokers. Results indicated that brokering more frequently was associated with more depressive and social anxiety symptoms for youth who reported racial/ethnic discrimination from adults in school, and more depressive symptoms for youth who had moderate to high levels of cultural mistrust. Additionally, brokering more frequently was only associated with more depressive symptoms for Latino youth who reported discrimination. Overall, the findings suggest that racial/ethnic discrimination and perceptions of cultural mistrust may exacerbate psychological challenges among Latino and Asian adolescent language brokers and highlight the importance of further examining how interpersonal and systemic discrimination influence the development of brokering youth.

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