Phenotype and schooling among Mexican Americans Academic Article uri icon


  • The study presented here examined the effect of phenotype (both skin color and physical features) on schooling attainment among Mexican Americans with data from the 1979 National Chicano Survey. It found that the lightest skin-toned and most European-looking quarter of the Mexican American population had about 1.5 more years of schooling than the darker and more Indian-looking majority. Differences in schooling by phenotype persisted with and without controls for other factors that have also been found to affect schooling. Phenotype was especially important among cohorts educated before World War II, although it continued to be important among later cohorts. Also, it had strong effects on schooling in Texas but virtually no effects in California and strong effects for those raised in Spanish-speaking neighborhoods but insignificant effects for those raised in English-speaking neighborhoods.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Murguia, E., & Telles, E. E.

complete list of authors

  • Murguia, E||Telles, EE

publication date

  • January 1, 1996 11:11 AM