Date of Award

Fall 2019

Document Type


First Advisor

Catherine Berheide


Social Identity theory states that societies create in-groups and out-groups due to social processes consistent of social categorization, social comparison and social identification. Relying on Social Identity Theory, this study investigates the relationship between Spanish proficiency in the Latinx community and the attitudes towards current immigration rates in the U.S. Utilizing the Pew Research Center 2018 National Survey of Latinos, a total of 1,069 respondents were analyzed. This survey was conducted over the phone in both Spanish and English with Latinx individuals 18 years and older residing in the U.S. I hypothesize that respondents with lower Spanish proficiency will express more negative attitudes toward immigration by stating that they believe there are too many immigrants in the United States. This study finds that there is no statistically significant relationship between Spanish proficiency and the belief that there are too many immigrants in the U.S. Two control variables - age and U.S. citizenship - were found to be significant with attitudes toward immigration. U.S. Citizens were less likely to state that there are too many immigrants in the U.S whereas the older a respondent was, the more likely they were to state this. My hypothesis was disconfirmed, but the social identification component of Social Identity Theory serves as a possible explanation. U.S. Citizens may be identifying more with their Latinidad then nationality while older individuals may instead be identifying strongly with their peers.