Deconstructing Immigrant Illegality: A Mixed-Methods Investigation of Stress and Health Among Undocumented College Students

  title={Deconstructing Immigrant Illegality: A Mixed-Methods Investigation of Stress and Health Among Undocumented College Students},
  author={Laura E. Enriquez and Martha Morales Hernandez and Annie Ro},
  journal={Race and Social Problems},
Research has established that being undocumented is a risk factor for mental and physical health conditions. Much of this work emphasizes undocumented immigrants’ chronic stress, yet key questions about pathways to health remain. The mere state of being undocumented is viewed as a general stressor, without considering actual levels of stress or identifying dimensions of documentation status that contribute to overall stress levels. Drawing on surveys and interviews with undocumented students at… 
Evaluating the Effect of Legal Vulnerabilities and Social Support on the Mental Health of Undocumented College Students
ABSTRACT Undocumented students face considerable stressors due to their precarious legal status, economic disadvantages, and social exclusion. Building on a growing body of the literature that has
Beyond undocumented: Differences in the mental health of Latinx undocumented college students
Undocumented college students face several threats to their well-being and mental health. Different social locations, including whether students have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA)
Beyond access: Psychosocial barriers to undocumented students' use of mental health services.
It is argued that undocumented immigration status informs mental health-related illness cognitions to negatively affect students' ability to assess their own mental health and need for services, as well as the larger political and social context that produces them.
Abstract Drawing on two online studies among predominantly U.S.-born and lawful permanent resident Latinxs, we developed a self-report scale intended to capture how discrimination related to
Childhood adversity, socioemotional functioning and generalized anxiety in young adults from mixed immigration status families.
Findings suggest that ACEs and generalized anxiety are prevalent in ethnic minority young adults from mixed legal status families and their association may be partially accounted for by ACE-related deficits in self-compassion.
A Comparison of Psychological Stress and Sleep Problems in Undocumented Students, DACA Recipients, and U.S. Citizens
DACA student stress was significantly higher in 2019 than 2017, rising to a level similar to that of undocumented students and that differed significantly from citizens, but DACA students did not differ from citizens.
“Waking Up Every Day With the Worry”: A Mixed-Methods Study of Anxiety in Undocumented Latinx College Students
Analysis of anxiety levels of undocumented Latinx undergraduates from colleges across California found that rates of self-reported anxiety between undocumented females were 4 times that of the norm population and that of male undocumented students were 7 times higher as measured by the GAD-7 in the moderate and severe ranges.
Childhood narratives and the lived experiences of Hispanic and Latinx college students with uncertain immigration statuses in North Carolina
  • Carmen Monico, D. Duncan
  • Medicine, Psychology
    International journal of qualitative studies on health and well-being
  • 2020
The study found that participants experienced emotional trauma since their arrival in the U.S., starting in childhood, and in some cases, manifesting maladaptive behaviours adversely affecting their health and well-being through their lifespan.
Toward a Nuanced and Contextualized Understanding of Undocumented College Students: Lessons from a California Survey
ABSTRACT Prior research has established that undocumented immigrant experiences are dynamic, reflecting the complex web of immigration-related policies that create legal vulnerability. As such,
The Importance of Norms and Efficacy in Predicting Undocumented College Students’ Intentions to Talk to an On-Campus Mental Health Professional
Factors that predict undocumented college students’ (UCS) intentions to talk to an on-campus mental health professional (MHP) are examined, and although family and friend injunctive norms were negatively associated with self-stigma, self-Stigma was not significantly associated with intentions toTalk to anon-campus MHP.


Acculturation Stress, Social Support, and Self-Rated Health Among Latinos in California
It is indicated that physical health is negatively associated with acculturation stressors and positively associated with social support; discrimination is only associated with poorer physical health among those for whom social support is lacking.
From undocumented to lawfully present: Do changes to legal status impact psychological wellbeing among latino immigrant young adults?
This work analyzes the predictors of three specialized outcomes related to immigrants' psychological wellbeing-distress, negative emotions, and deportation worry before and after a transition from undocumented to lawfully present status to demonstrate the positive emotional consequences of transitioning out of undocumented status for immigrant young adults.
Dreams deferred: Contextualizing the health and psychosocial needs of undocumented Asian and Pacific Islander young adults in Northern California.
Results indicate that community distrust is high, even within the API community, due to high levels of exploitation, discrimination, and threats of deportation, and that documentation status is a barrier in accessing health services, particularly mental health and sexual and reproductive health services.
Dreams Delayed: Barriers to Degree Completion among Undocumented Community College Students
Evidence is offered that the condition of ‘illegality’ functions as a ‘master status’ that has an overpowering effect on students' college pathways, and that undocumented students' legal status often leads them to stop out.
Gendering Illegality: Undocumented Young Adults’ Negotiation of the Family Formation Process
Although previous scholarship demonstrates that gender profoundly affects the immigrant incorporation process, few studies assess the role of gender in the lives of 1.5-generation undocumented young
Mental Health of Undocumented Mexican Immigrants: A Review of the Literature
This interdisciplinary review of the literature aims to outline the current state of knowledge regarding the mental health of undocumented Mexican immigrants in the United States.
“I Can’t Go to College Because I Don’t Have Papers”: Incorporation Patterns Of Latino Undocumented Youth
Undocumented immigration has gained unprecedented prominence in many of the world's wealthiest nation-states. In the United States, a substantial population of undocumented youth is growing up with
Legal Consciousness of Undocumented Latinos: Fear and Stigma as Barriers to Claims-Making for First- and 1.5-Generation Immigrants
This article examines the legal consciousness and incorporation experiences of undocumented immigrants in the United States. Although this population may be disaggregated along several axes, one
Stress at college: effects on health habits, health status and self-esteem
The results from a random survey of students (N=145) are analyzed to address three questions: 1) Are students in certain demographic groups prone to experience higher levels of stress? 2) Is there a
Migrant “Illegality” and Deportability in Everyday Life
▪ Abstract This article strives to meet two challenges. As a review, it provides a critical discussion of the scholarship concerning undocumented migration, with a special emphasis on