Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Herb, Shon


Research has shown that experiencing discrimination and racism can have significant and negative effects on people’s mental health. Among those affected are Mexicans and Mexican Americans in the United States. The purpose of this study was to examine if there was a relationship with self-reported mental health of Mexican/Mexican American social work students and self-reported experiences with racism and discrimination. This quantitative study surveyed 101 participants who (a) identified as Mexican and or Mexican American, (b) were 18 years or older (c) enrolled in college, and (d) identified as either a BASW or MSW student. This study utilized a Qualtrics online survey that was provided via email and social media platforms to gather participants self-reported discrimination, racism, and mental health experiences. Univariate statistics and bivariate statistics were utilized to describe the sociodemographic characteristics of this sample whereas Chi-Square tests were utilized to examine whether participants experiences with racism and discrimination correlated with CES-D 10 scores. The results of this study indicated a significant relationship between the mental health of Mexican and Mexicans American social work students and their experience with racism and discrimination. This study revealed a statistically significance between a person’s ancestry/national origins, gender, age, socioeconomic status, color of skin, and experience with a plumber/car mechanic. Those who had a higher level of stress were more likely to report feeling discriminated against than those with a low level of stress. The findings from this project help understand the importance of mental health programs to be implemented in school settings and the importance of policy advocacy within administrations. Limitations to this study and suggestions for future research are also discussed.