Master of Arts (MA)
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
Number of Pages
In the US, people of color (PoC) are consistently the targets of microaggressions, a form of everyday racism (Pierce et al., 1977; Chavez, 2013) manifested in brief, commonplace, daily slights and indignities (Sue et al., 2007). After the 2016 elections, Americans immediately reported an increase in social tensions across racial groups (Pew Research, 2017). Latinxs, in particular, reported a steep rise in experiences with racial and ethnic discrimination (Gomez & Perez Huber, 2019; Jones et al., 2019), particularly around the context of immigration status (Santos et al., 2021). No previous research, however, has explored the experience of assumed illegality based on immigration status within everyday exchanges. To fill this gap in research, this thesis aimed to define and measure a Presumed Illegal Microaggressive Experience (PrIME) as microaggressions used in normalized rhetoric (e.g., casual conversation, jokes, confrontations, assumptions) weaponizing immigration status assumptions based on racial and ethnic features. Using two independent studies (n = 757; n = 252), I conducted factorial analyses (exploratory and confirmatory) to validate a new 6-item Likert scale that measures PrIME. Furthermore, I explored the impact of PrIME on mental health and also how frequent Latinx experienced these everyday slights to justify the scale construction. Our results validated the construction and development of the PrIME Scale, demonstrated predictive ability for mental health outcomes, and showed that Latinx individuals experienced higher PrIME than other racial or ethnic groups. The PrIME scale is introduced as a novel racial microaggressions psychometric that measures immigration-status-related attacks targeting PoC in the US. Limitations and implications are discussed.
discrimination; immigration status; Latinx; microaggressions; psychometrics; racism
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Barrita, Aldo M., "Presumed Illegal Microaggressive Experience (Prime): A Microaggression Targeting Latinx Individuals" (2021). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 4231.
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