Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chair(s)

Renee V. Galliher


Renee V. Galliher


Melissa Tehee


Melanie M. Domenech Rodriguez


Cultural factors such as acculturative stress, discrimination and ethnic identity have been shown to relate to Latinx students’ academic outcomes, with the first two being risk factors, while the last one primarily plays a protective role. Factors that modify or change these relationships have been studied by both psychological and educational researchers, in efforts to inform interventions. One area of interest is school ethnic contexts, specifically school ethnic representation (number of same-ethnic peers) and school ethnic diversity (proportion of different ethnic groups in student body). This study investigated whether these two school ethnic variables changed or influenced the relationship between the cultural factors and the academic achievement of Latinx youth. Both representation and diversity modified the relationships between English Competency Pressure (ECP), a subscale of acculturative stress, and academic-self efficacy. Diversity also showed a significant interaction with ECP in predicting school belonging. Negative relationships between ECP and academic self-efficacy or school belonging only emerged for students in schools with very low ethnic diversity. In contrast, ECP was strongly negatively related to academic self-efficacy for students in schools with the highest ethnic representation. These findings begin to clarify the intricacies of how school context influences Latinx student’s academic performance based on cultural factors. It is important to understand these relationships in order to better formulate policy, curriculum, and teaching practices to serve all students.