HERE Center

The Causal Impact of Home-School Cultural Value Mismatch on Latinx Students’ Attentional Control During the Transition to College

Knowledge from gained prior studies was leveraged to create a laboratory paradigm that elicits home-school cultural value mismatch and measures whether such mismatch disrupts focused attention (Vasquez-Salgado, Ramirez & Greenfield, 2018).

Latinx first-generation college students were randomly assigned to write down a list of either: 1) family obligations; 2) school obligations; 3.) instances when they had to choose between family and school obligations (home-school mismatch condition) or 4.) favorite restaurants (control). Following list construction, students engaged in an attentional control task so that we could capture the lack of concentration and focused attention associated with conflicts in our prior studies.

Based on the prior two studies (focus group and survey), we expected that writing about home-school mismatch experiences would be more disruptive to attention than the other three experimental conditions. These expectations were confirmed by the results. These results are important because they demonstrate causality on focused attention, a key element in mental health and academic achievement

Research Area:

Cultural, Developmental and Cognitive Psychology


Start Date:

2015 - 2018


  • Gerardo Ramirez
  • Patricia M. Greenfield


  • Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellowship Program
  • American Psychological Association
  • American Psychological Foundation
  • UCLA Institute of American Cultures and Chicano/a Studies Research Center
  • UCLA Graduate Summer Research Mentorship Program
  • UCLA Monica Salinas Summer Fellowship