Latino/a Conceptions of Assertiveness: Preliminary Results from a Qualitative Study

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Bardi, C. Albert
Chandrasekaran, Chetna
Clark, Sarah
Croasdaile, Lauren
Mates, Hadley
McNair, Caroline
Pickett, Leigh Anne
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Department of Psychology, University of the South , Sewanee, Tennessee , Qualitative , Latino , Latina , Hispanic , Assertiveness
Assertiveness has been defined as the verbal and nonverbal, direct expression of feelings (Gay, Hollandsworth & Galassi, 1975) and the positive, productive expression of one's needs, feelings, preferences or opinions (Rathus, 1973). Extant conceptions and measures of assertiveness have largely been developed with predominantly white samples. Four focus groups were conducted with community members who self-identify as being of Latino/a or Hispanic heritage. Groups were given a simple model of the intersection of active vs passive modes and assertive vs aggressive behavior, and were asked to discuss their perceptions of the concepts. Transcriptions of the focus groups were created and themes were identified. Themes include "assertiveness as a product of immigrant struggle", "increasing assertiveness with newer generations", "acceptance of authority" and "the ideal of passive assertion".