Religious head covering, being perceived as foreigners, victimization, and adjustment among Sikh American adolescents.

Bullying victimization related to race or religion is a problem that permeates schools in the United States for minority students. One group of students that are at higher risk for victimization is Sikh American adolescents, which may result from them being stereotyped as foreigners. We used path analysis to examine the relationships among self-reports of (a) wearing religious head coverings, (b) being perceived as a foreigner, (c) victimization (i.e., physical, verbal, and relational), and (d) adjustment outcomes (i.e., self-esteem, depressive symptoms, and anxiety related to perceptions of school safety) by Sikh American adolescents. Survey data were collected from 199 Sikh American adolescents from 120 schools in 61 cities in California (54% male, mean age = 14.19 years, SD = 1.86). Results indicated that a large percentage (76.4%) of Sikh American adolescents reported at least one type of victimization during the school year, and victimization appeared to relate to race and religion for many students. Wearing a religious head covering related to Sikh American adolescents’ perceptions that they were stereotyped as foreigners, which, in turn, related to verbal and relational victimization (indirect effect = 0.05 and 0.06) but not physical victimization. Being a male predicted more verbal victimization (β = 0.38). In addition, being perceived as a foreigner was related to higher victimization, which was also related to lower self-esteem and higher depressive and anxious symptoms (indirect effect = −0.05, 0.08, and 0.06, respectively). Implications for school psychologists to reduce victimization and improve school climate for Sikh American students are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)