Document Type

Review Article

Publication Date



School social workers are in a position to positively influence the educational experiences of those students placed most at risk by current school practices, and data indicate that Hispanics are particularly vulnerable in this regard. An examination of trends and educational outcomes are provided as evidence of the educational challenges encountered by many impoverished Hispanic youths. The theory of structural violence is then introduced as a way of conceptualizing the current educational climate experienced by many low-income Hispanic adolescents. Although it is used in this article to explore the experiences of Hispanic youths, it is important to recognize that structural violence is not limited to this population or stage of development. Recommendations for school social work practice, education, and research are provided to assist social workers in developing a more comprehensive response to educational inequality. Such efforts may begin to address the educational needs of Hispanic adolescents and hold promise for the development of strategies that could foster the educational success of all students.



Published Citation

Garcia-Reid, P. (2008). Understanding the effect of structural violence on the educational identities of Hispanic adolescents: A call for social justice. Children & Schools, 30(4), 235-241.