Familias Divididas [Divided Families]: Transnational Family Separation and Undocumented Latinx Immigrant Health

Thania Galvan, Dana Rusch, Melanie M.Domenech Rodríguez, Luz M. Garcini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Undocumented Latinx immigrants (ULIs) comprise a large segment of the U.S. population, yet they remain at high risk for diminished health outcomes due to increased exposure to adverse experiences and context. Transnational family separation and the distress that accompanies it is an example of a common adverse experience that is chronic and that impacts the lives of many ULIs. However, despite how chronic and central transnationalismis to the lives ofULIs, little is known about its relation to the health outcomes ofULIs. To that end, this study examined the relation between distress due to transnational family separation and the physical and mental health of ULIs. To do so, the study utilized respondent-driven sampling and path analysis methodologies to cross-sectionally examine how distress from transnational separation was related to the physical and mental health of ULIs (n = 229). Results revealed that as distress from transnational family separation increased so too did participant’s depressive (β =.25, p <.001), anxiety (β =.18, p =.006), and physical symptoms (β =.24, p <.0001). Distress from transnational family separation was also more strongly related to physical and depressive symptoms than to anxiety symptoms. Considering these results, important systemic changes to our approach to healthcare delivery and access among ULIs communities are needed to promote the well-being of this at-risk population. Recommendations for doing so are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Health disparities
  • Latinx
  • Mental health
  • Physical health
  • Undocumented

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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