Latinx Immigrants: Risk and Resilience

How Does Contextual Stress Get Under the Skin of Latinx Immigrants Varying in Immigration Legal Status? Identifying Mechanisms of Risk and Resilience.

Background: Undocumented immigrants are at-risk for diminished health outcomes given the many complex stressors that they face, which are often experienced over a long time, under harsh living conditions, and without access to adequate social and health services (Garcini, et al., 2016). Unfortunately, research to inform their wellbeing is limited and existing studies often lack methodological rigor (Garcini, et al., 2016). Furthermore, there is little understanding as to the mechanistic function of contextual stress on the physiological and psychological functioning of undocumented immigrants, including factors that could moderate the negative effects of stress.

Purpose: The proposed line of research elaborates on findings from a recent pilot project funded by the American Psychological Foundation (APF) David H. and Beverly A. Barlow Grant. Using context-sensitive methodology and a biobehavioral model of adversity, the specific aims of this project are:

To evaluate the effect of contextual stress on the physiological and psychological functioning undocumented immigrants.To assess for differences in the aforementioned associations with their documented Latinx and non-Latinx White age and gender matched controls.
To identify cultural and contextual factors that moderate the stress-response among undocumented immigrants. To compare the strength of these associations with their documented Latinx and non-Latinx White age and gender matched controls.

Project Details

Funder: American Psychological Association (APA)

Project Period: March 2020 – February 2021

PI: Luz Garcini, PhD, MPH

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