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The Effect of Stereotypical Television Portrayals and Ethnic Identity on Self-Esteem of Latino/a Emerging Adults

Fri, March 22, 7:45 to 9:15am, Baltimore Convention Center, Floor: Level 1, Exhibit Hall B

Integrative Statement

The purpose of this study was to investigate how stereotypical portrayals of Latino/a characters may influence Latino/a emerging adults’ ethnic regard and self-esteem while examining the moderating role of ethnic centrality. Latino/a emerging adults (N=138; ages 18-25) from across the U.S. watched television clips in one of two conditions and completed the State Self-Esteem Scale and a revised version of the Multidimensional Inventory of Black Identity. A custom 2 (TV condition: stereotypical and neutral) x 2 (ethnic centrality: low and high) found that while television clips alone had no significant impact on self-esteem, ethnic centrality played an important role in moderating the effects of stereotypical content. Latino/a participants with high ethnic centrality displayed lower social self-esteem when presented with a stereotypical portrayal. This finding matches previous work with Stereotype Threat and the role of identity which found that those who more strongly identified with a stereotyped group were more negatively impacted by stereotypes of that group. Additionally, the non-significance of media clips alone combined with the interaction effect provides evidence for the Media Practice Model which proposes that a combination of different phenomena influences the impact of media content, and not content alone.


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