Familial Deportation Experience, Undocumented Parents, and Depressive Symptoms Among Early Adolescent Latinos

Karina M. Shreffler , Oklahoma State University
Zachary Giano, Oklahoma State University
Machele Anderson, Oklahoma State University
Ronald Cox, Oklahoma State University

Using a general population sample of Latino 7th grade students in an urban public-school district in the South-Central U.S. (N=661), we examined the relationship between familial deportation experience and depressive symptoms as well as the moderating association of parental documentation status. Multiple regression findings indicate that experiencing the deportation of a family member is significantly associated with higher rates of youth depressive symptoms. Moreover, parental citizenship status has a moderating effect; depressive symptoms are magnified among youth who report that both of their parents have undocumented legal status. The findings suggest significant consequences for youth well-being when a family member is deported and the child remains in the U.S. Further, the compounding effects for youth whose parents are both undocumented suggests fear of deportation and acculturative stress. Immigration policies, programs, and schools need to consider the emotional needs of youth who have undocumented parents.

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 Presented in Session 88. Adverse Experiences Among Children and Youth in Immigrant Families