Pobrecitos los Niños: The emotional impact of anti-immigration policies on Latino children

Sandy P. Rubio-Hernandez, Cecilia Ayón

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to examine the perceptions of Latino immigrant parents on the emotional impact of anti-immigration policies on their children in the state of Arizona. Fifty four Latino immigrant parents participated in in-depth semi-structured interviews. Interviews were completed between September 2013 and February 2014, a critical time period following passage and initial stages of the implementation of SB1070 and other anti-immigration policies. Informed by grounded theory, a constant comparative approach was used between and within transcripts while completing initial and focused coding. Findings indicate parents observed a range of behavioral changes in their children following the passage of anti-immigration legislation. The emotional impact experienced by Latino children is summarized in the following themes; concern and sense of responsibility, fear and hypervigilance, sadness and crying, and depression. Parents reported their children expressed constant fear and concern over the looming threat of deportation or family separation. Children exhibited a sense of responsibility for improving their families' circumstances. Parents expressed their children displayed hypervigilance, constant sadness and crying. In some instances the changes in children's behavior were so severe that parents considered their children to be depressed and in need of clinical intervention. Practitioners in immigrant dense communities need to be aware of the challenges immigrant families encounter and the impact of immigration policies on the emotional development of Latino children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-26
Number of pages7
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Volume60
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Fingerprint

Emigration and Immigration
immigration policy
Hispanic Americans
Parents
parents
Crying
immigrant
sense of responsibility
Fear
Anxiety
Interviews
Child Behavior
anxiety
Child Development
Legislation
emotional development
deportation
interview
grounded theory
Depression

Keywords

  • Anti-immigration legislation and sentiment
  • Emotional and behavioral changes
  • Immigrant families
  • Latino families and children

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Pobrecitos los Niños : The emotional impact of anti-immigration policies on Latino children. / Rubio-Hernandez, Sandy P.; Ayón, Cecilia.

In: Children and Youth Services Review, Vol. 60, 01.01.2016, p. 20-26.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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