The Phenotypic, Psychological, and Social Interplays of Skin Color and Developmental Outcomes among Mexican-origin Adolescents

Jun Wang, Texas A&M University
Jinjin Yan, University of Texas, Austin
Kayla M. Osman, University of Arizona
Xin Li, Texas A&M University
Katharine H. Zeiders, University of Arizona
Yishan Shen, Texas State University
Melissa Victory, University of Texas at Austin
Su Yeong Kim, University of Texas, Austin
Publication Date:
Jun 2022
Project Programs:
Integrating Biology and Social Science Knowledge

Mexican-origin children from immigrant families are impacted by various systemic oppressions in life. The study seeks to examine how adolescents’ developmental outcomes are associated with specific phenotypic, psychological, and social features of skin color, as manifested by skin tone, skin color satisfaction, and foreigner stress. By taking a holistic approach, we examine both positive and negative adjustment outcomes, including delinquency, resilience, and effortful control. Participants were 604 Mexican-origin adolescents aged between 11.08 and 15.29 (Mage = 12.91, SD = 0.92) with at least one immigrant parent. The findings highlight the harm of foreigner stress and the benefit of skin color satisfaction in Mexican-origin adolescents’ development of delinquency, resilience, and effortful control, especially for those with a darker skin color.


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