First Advisor

Marcus Sharpe

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology and University Honors






Colorism -- Mexico, Mestizos -- Mental health, Mestizos -- Mexico -- Social conditions




Mexican society is engaging in racism in the form of colorism; while colorism is widespread, it is not acknowledged by the population. As a previous Spanish colony, the effects of the social caste system affect how Mexicans view themselves and others, creating a preference for lighter skin tones. The idea of Mexicans being a hybrid race (Mestizo) prevails in the country, which affects racial minorities as they are often ignored. Skin tone in Mexico can affect the socioeconomic status of their population and the chances of social mobility. While research on how colorism affects the mental health of Mexicans is limited, studies across the world demonstrate that being stigmatized and having internalized colorist ideologies can affect negatively an individual’s mental health. Colorism is often learned at a young age and it is correlated with higher levels of depression and poor mental health. The findings suggest that colorism affects different aspects of life and that this type of discrimination is not exclusive to a single racial group. Some consequences of colorism in Mexico include being a target for violence and police brutality. The need to further research on how colorism affects Mexicans is urgent.


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