1st Edition

Understanding the Latinx Experience Developmental and Contextual Influences

    160 Pages
    by Routledge

    160 Pages
    by Routledge

    The Latino presence continues to grow in traditional population enclaves and has tripled in areas that are not traditionally associated with this pan-ethnic group. The dramatic growth of this population in the U.S. requires a considerably deeper understanding of individuals that share this multifaceted identity. This timely book synthesizes new research and its implications for practice that is critical for professionals working with Latinos in educational and counseling contexts. The authors provide insight into identity development, environmental influences, and how these factors influence persistence in higher education. By using a synthesis approach to organize multiple studies around how being Latinx influences the experiences of students in college and beyond, the authors offer a holistic view of the Latino population. Each chapter uses mixed method data points to highlight the experiences of this growing population and provide helpful insights for those who work with Latinx individuals within higher education and community settings. The new Lifespan Model of Latinx Ethnic Identity Development constitutes a framework to consider the development and tensions experienced by Latinos as they engage with the various cultures represented within U.S. society. The studies presented in this book provide an evidence-based understanding how environmental differences may produce differing levels of development for college students and how change in environments produce reflective refinement of adult Latinx identity. Practitioners will learn about practices that help Latinx college students. Faculty and researchers will gain new understandings of the Latinx experience, and discover a starting point for further reflection and investigation.

    Foreword—Sarita E. Brown and Deborah A. Santiago Preface 1. A Uniquely American State of Mind. Being Latino in Higher Education2. Introduction to the Voices of Latinos 3. A Lifespan Model of Latinx Ethnic Identity Development 4. Environmental Influences on the Experiences of Latinx Individuals 5. Intersections of Multiple Identities and Contextual Influences 6. Influences on the Persistence of Latinx Students in Higher Education 7. Critical Insights for Future Research on Latinx Identity Development Appendix A. Defining the Terms Used by Latinos Appendix B. Methodology for Longitudinal Study. Investigating the Complexities of the Choice to Stay in College for Latino Students References About the Authors Index


    Vasti Torres is a Professor in the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education (CSHPE) and an Associate Faculty member of Latina/o Studies at University of Michigan. Ebelia Hernandez is an Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Education, Rutgers University. Sylvia Martinez is an Associate Professor, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and Latino Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. Sarita E. Brown is a Cofounder of Excelencia in Education. Deborah A. Santiago is a Cofounder of Excelencia in Education.

    "This book provides an important resource in understanding the Latino/a experience in the US. Our nation is in desperate need of a diverse highly educated workforce. By 2060 more than 25% of the total US population will be Latino/a and our school systems across the country are already Hispanic Serving Districts. Thus, it is imperative that we understand the students we serve and provide them the tools necessary to succeed. This book is essential if we are to indeed educate the future of our nation."

    "This book is important for policymakers and campus administrators in defying the all too easy overgeneralizations of groups that result in poor policies and practices. Not only are Latinx a diverse groups from many different cultural backgrounds, but from many different economic circumstances, family backgrounds and expectations, communities, and academic experiences. One student may thrive in a Hispanic serving institution while another may not, some may appreciate proactive advising and others may be turned off, and some may feel a need to belong on campus while others aspire to continue to be part of their home community. And these differences reflect unique and multifaceted identities that are important for and shape learning and development – our core mission. This is a must read for those who want to develop well informed policies or be quality educators."

    Adrianna Kezar, Dean’s Professor of Leadership and Director of the Pullias Center for Higher Education

    University of Southern California

    "With a foreword by Brown and Santiago, co-founders of Excelencia in Educaction, and written in accessible language, Understanding the Latinx Experience: Developmental and Contextual Influences is a good resource for leaders, staff, and faculty to become aware of the experiences of Latinx students in higher education. They will find concrete examples and recommendations about how to improve the Latinx college experience, and, in turn, student success.

    One strength of this book is the solid research included. Longitudinal quantitative and qualitative data support the authors’ model by using Latinx voices that represent the heterogenous ways of being Latinx and experiencing higher education. The qualitative part of the research design offers clear examples of the complex lives of Latinx college students. Here, the reader will find “insight into how the students themselves see their experiences” (p. 12).

    Understanding the Latinx Experience: Developmental and Contextual Influences provides a timely insight into the identity development of the Latinx student population. The book provides useful information for institutions to improve Latinx student success and illuminates what we can do to retain and graduate more Latinx students from universities. Higher education professionals, institutions, and policymakers will be better informed about the factors influencing college persistence by reading the students’ stories and college experiences throughout the book. The book is an invaluable resource for all professionals working with Latinx students."

    Teachers College Record