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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis-ISU Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Rocio Rivadeneyra


Portrayals of minority groups in popular United States media have a history of being erroneous and full of negative stereotypes. I investigated the influence that these media portrayals have on Latino(a) viewers’ ethnic identity and self-esteem. I also investigated the role that stable aspects of ethnic identity, such as centrality (or how central one’s race/ethnicity is to his/her self-definition), had in moderating the effects of media portrayals on the more fluid parts of ethnic identity, such as private regard (how one views their own race/ethnic group) and public regard (how one feels that others view their race/ethnic group) as well as on self-esteem. One hundred and thirty-eight participants from across the United States participated in a custom 2 (media condition: stereotypical and neutral) x 2 (ethnic centrality: low and high) between-subjects design that analyzed media content and ethnic centrality’s effect on ethnic regard and self-esteem. Analysis revealed a significant main effect of ethnic centrality on ethnic regard such that participants with high ethnic centrality reported higher private and public regard. There was also a marginally significant interaction of ethnic centrality and condition on ethnic centrality and self-esteem. Participants with high ethnic centrality displayed a decrease in social and global self-esteem from the neutral condition to the stereotype condition while participants with low ethnic centrality showed an increase in social and global self-esteem from the neutral to the stereotype condition. Additionally, participants with high ethnic centrality also displayed a decrease in appearance self-esteem from the neutral condition to the stereotype condition; however, participants with low centrality reported similar appearance self-esteem in both the neutral and stereotype conditions. The non-significance of media clips alone combined with the marginally significant interaction effect may indicate that it is not content alone that influences viewers, but a combination of different phenomena such as ethnic centrality and racial/ethnic socialization that influence the impact of media content.


Imported from ProQuest Shafer_ilstu_0092N_10920.pdf


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