Impacts of Arizona’s SB 1070 on Mexican American Students’ Stress, School Attachment, and Grades

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Understanding the impacts of immigration legislation on Mexican ethnic students who are citizens of the United States is needed. This study investigates how passage of Arizona’s anti-immigration law, SB 1070, in 2010 bears upon the schooling experiences of Mexican American high school students. Applying Meyer’s Minority Stress Model as the theoretical foundation for this work, the authors ultimately explore, 1) whether perceived discrimination along with acculturation, racial phenotype, familiarity and stress associated with SB 1070 influence school grades, and 2) the effects of SB 1070 stress on the school attachment of Mexican American high school students. The authors find that perceived discrimination and skin color are both negatively related to grades, whereas maintaining Spanish is positively related to grades, and SB 1070 stress and its effects are dependent upon levels of perceived discrimination. Likewise, while the authors find no relation of SB 1070 stress to school attachment, they do find that this relationship is moderated by perceived discrimination such that school attachment decreases as stress associated with SB 1070 increases for individuals with lower perceived discrimination. For individuals with high levels of perceived discrimination, there is a positive association between school attachment and SB 1070 stress. By impacting their acculturative stress, Arizona’s SB 1070 has further upset an already precarious schooling experience for Mexican American students. 


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How to Cite
Orozco, R. A., & López, F. (2015). Impacts of Arizona’s SB 1070 on Mexican American Students’ Stress, School Attachment, and Grades. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 23, 42.
Author Biographies

Richard A. Orozco, Assistant Professor University of Arizona

Richard Orozco is an Assistant Professor of Secondary Education. His research interests include the educational experiences of Mexican Americans; in particular, the analysis of discourses concerning Mexican American schooling. 

Francesca López, Associate Professor University of Arizona

Francesca López is an associate professor in the Educational Psychology department at the University of Arizona. Her research is focused on the ways educational settings inform Latino student identity and achievement.