Ethnic labels, pride, and challenges: A qualitative study of Latinx youth living in a new Latinx destination community

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  • Rosalie Corona Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Efren Velazquez Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Shelby E. McDonald Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Melissa Avila Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Molly Neff Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Adam Iglesias Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Raquel Halfond Virginia Commonwealth University



Latinx, discrimination, ethnic identity


Most of the literature on Latinx youths’ ethnic identity development has been conducted in communities with a large Latinx population. Fewer studies have examined Latinx youths’ ethnic identity in communities with a smaller yet rapidly growing Latinx population (i.e., new Latinx destination communities). Twenty-five Latinx youth (10-15 years)living in a new Latinx destination community participated in semi-structured interviews to identify the ethnic labels they use to describe themselves (i.e., ethnic-identity self-identification) and explore their feelings about being Latinx (i.e., ethnic-identity affirmation). Using an existing coding scheme, we found that most immigrant youth used a national origin label alone, while U.S.-born youth used a pan-ethnic term alone or in combination with an American term. Results of the thematic analysis exploring youths’ ethnic identity affirmation indicated three themes among youths’ account of their ethnic affirmation: (a) pride; (b) communication difficulties; and (c) discrimination. Study findings have implications for examining Latinx youth ethnic identity development in new destination communities.


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Author Biography

Rosalie Corona, Virginia Commonwealth University

Associate Professor
Director of Clinical Training
Director Latina/o Mental Health Clinic


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How to Cite

Corona, R., Velazquez, E., McDonald, S. E., Avila, M., Neff, M., Iglesias, A., & Halfond, R. (2017). Ethnic labels, pride, and challenges: A qualitative study of Latinx youth living in a new Latinx destination community. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies, 4(1), 1–13.



Original Manuscript
Received 2017-05-25
Accepted 2017-06-11
Published 2017-06-30