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Brandon Cosley


Mexican immigrants living in the United States face academic challenges as well as being exposed to stereotypes. Additionally, Mexican immigrants tend to report lower self-efficacy compared to their American counterparts. This quantitative study aimed to fill a gap in the literature by examining the impact that stereotype threat (STT) has on Mexican immigrants' academic performance and social self-efficacy using a two-way between subjects design. Self-efficacy theory and stereotype threat theory provided the theoretical foundation for the study. Caucasian and Mexican immigrants were randomly assigned to one of two groups- a group exposed to STT (Caucasian n = 94, Mexican immigrant n = 10) or a group who was not exposed to STT (Caucasian n = 155, Mexican immigrant n = 21) for a total of N = 280. All participants were given quantitative analysis questions, analytical reasoning questions, and a social self-efficacy questionnaire. Results showed that Mexican immigrants in the stereotype threat group and Mexican immigrants in the no threat group underperformed on the quantitative analysis and analytical reasoning measures compared to Caucasians in both of those groups. Mexican immigrants in the stereotype threat group and the no threat group also reported lower social self-efficacy scores compared to Caucasians. This research highlighted the importance of the impact stereotypes may have on academic performance and social self-efficacy, especially among immigrants. The implications for social change include insight for Mexican immigrants about the types of challenges they may encounter upon moving to the United States. Additionally, this research could extend the conversation about the various negative effects that stereotypes may have on immigrants' lives.

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