Estamos traumados: The effect of anti-immigrant sentiment and policies on the mental health of mexican immigrant families

Lorraine Moya Salas, Cecilia Ayón, Maria Gurrola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines the effects of immigration legislation on Mexican immigrant families' health and mental health. Focus groups were completed with youth and adult participants who were immigrants or children of immigrants (N = 43). Participants shared the risky conditions that are part of their everyday life and feelings of isolation, powerlessness, frustration, fear, stress and chronic trauma they experience. Major themes are as follows: (a) Arriesgando la vida (risking our lives)-participants shared the dangers involved in migrating to the United States; (b) Mirando por la ventana (looking out the window)-participants live in a constant state of fear, of being arrested and deported, which significantly restricts how they live their lives; (c) and Estamos traumados (we are traumatized)- participants share the effects on children, how women's stress is manifested, and men's feelings of powerlessness. Further research is needed on the effect of prolonged trauma particularly on children's development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1005-1020
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
Volume41
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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