Background: Bias-motivated victimization is common among school-age youth
and is associated with negative academic and emotional consequences. Few studies have
looked at the incidence of various forms of bias-motivated victimization for first- and second-
generation immigrant-origin students even though these students represent an especially
vulnerable population for experiencing bias.
Objective: The present study investigated whether immigrant-origin students reported higher
incidences of bias-motivated victimization relative to their nonimmigrant-origin peers. For
students who experienced bias-motivated victimization, we examined the impact of these experiences
on levels of distress and examined perceived social and community support between
immigrant-origin and nonimmigrant-origin students.
Methods: Participants completed the Youth Bias Victimization Questionnaire (YBVQ), a
questionnaire designed to capture information about how often youth experience different
types of bias-motivated victimization.
Results: Approximately 60% of youth in the full sample reported experiencing one or more
types of bias victimization in their lifetime and this rate was generally equivalent across immigrant-
origin and nonimmigrant-origin participants. For those students who reported at
least one lifetime event of bias victimization, immigrant-origin youth were more likely than
nonimmigrant-origin youth to experience victimization related to peers’ perceptions of their
country of origin or immigrant status. There were no significant differences in reported levels
of distress or perceived social and community support between immigrant-origin and
nonimmigrant-origin youth, regardless of whether they experienced bias-motivated victimization
during their lifetime.
Conclusion: Clinicians working in school settings should be aware of the high incidence of
students who experience bias-motivated victimization and when indicated provide targeted
intervention services to those negatively impacted by these experiences.