BG09A Building 9, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London NW4 4BT
Objectives: Many minority youth experience discrimination, in the Netherlands and elsewhere and negative associations with their adjustment are likely. Remarkably, especially in post-9/11 climate, young people’s accounts of ethno-religious discrimination have received little attention, resulting in various gaps in the literature. This article examines whether and how young people’s adjustment is related to the source of discrimination, and particularly explores the importance of discrimination in the school context.
Method: Links between perceived discrimination and externalizing behavior among Turkish- (n = 143) and Moroccan-Dutch (n = 164) youth aged 14 to 18 were first examined quantitatively, with a focus on the relevance of discrimination source (classmates, teachers, peers outside school, adults outside school). Findings then guided the qualitative exploration of ten Turkish-Dutch and Moroccan-Dutch students’ experiences to better understand how youth perceive of discrimination in relation to its source.
Results: When different discrimination sources were examined simultaneously, only teacher discrimination remained a significant predictor, explaining 15% of the variance in externalizing behavior. The qualitative follow-up further illustrated the significance of teacher discrimination: Whereas some Moroccan-Dutch and Turkish-Dutch Muslim youth felt held back by their teachers from progressing in school, others reported derogatory comments about their native country and religion.
Discussion: We argue that the perceived powerlessness in the teacher-student relationship deserves further attention as Moroccan-Dutch and Turkish-Dutch youth not only report harsh experiences, perceived teacher discrimination is also linked to higher levels of externalizing behavior. We discuss the role of the socio-political climate in relation to discrimination experiences by Muslim youth in the West.