SSN Commentary

The Little-Known Harms of Ethnicity-Based Bullying

Policy field

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University of Nebraska at Omaha

Originally published with Josafa da Cunha in Psychology Today on January 23, 2024.


  • Research shows that ethnic-based victimization in schools negatively impacts students' grades.
  • Schools can mitigate the negative impact on grades by fostering a positive diversity climate.
  • Creating inclusive school environments is crucial for both academic success and student well-being.

In our recently published paper in Frontiers in Education, we explored the various ways in which schools can weaken the link between being victimized for one's ethnicity and its negative impact on students' grades. Using a large dataset of Brazilian high school students, we examined how individual students' grades differed across various schools, particularly among those who reported being victimized because of their ethnicity. These findings have the potential to inform school practices in Brazil, the United States, and elsewhere.