Exploring Migration Experiences of Undocumented Latinx Youth Through A Qualitative Lens: Implications for Mental Health Provide

Regine Talleyrand 1 * , Carmen Gill Bailey 2, Mirella Saldana 3, Jennifer T. Tran 4, Zikun Li 1

AM J QUALITATIVE RES, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp. 269-286

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Undocumented Latinx youth make up a sizeable group within the United State (U.S.) immigrant population and one that is particularly vulnerable due to their exposure to experiences of trauma, racism, discrimination, and lack of legal protection in their indigenous countries as well as during and after their migration to the U.S. at early developmental stages in their lives. As part of a community-based partnership, we conducted culturally responsive focus groups (CRFG) in a community setting in the Mid-Eastern region of the US to explore the lived experiences of 22 undocumented Latinx students who had recently migrated to the U.S. and were enrolled in local middle and high school settings. We used a grounded theory approach to analyze students’ migration experiences and the results revealed that students experience multiple stressors and could benefit from a peer, school, family, and community support to build students’ resilience. Implications for research and clinical practice are provided.

Keywords: culturally responsive focus groups, migration, acculturative stressors, undocumented Latinx youth.