The “Wrong Kind” of Immigrants: Pre-migration Trauma and Acculturative Stress Among the Undocumented Latinx Community

AbstractThere has been an increase in Latinx immigration to the United States as citizens of Mexico and Central America move to escape perilous situations in their countries of origin. These immigrants ’ traumatic experiences may include gang violence, political oppression, war, and physical or sexual abuse, among other experiences, many related to increased drug trafficking activity. While Latinx immigrants often experience acute acculturative stress, particularly if they are undocumented, it i s frequently overlooked that the experience of acculturation will be worse if they suffered traumas in their countries of origin prior to immigration. Additionally, prevalent anti-immigration rhetoric in the United States can heighten acculturative stress, including symptoms of depression and anxiet y. This paper will review the literature relevant to the relationship between pre-migration trauma, mental health, and immigration status in the Latinx population. A case example illustrating the accumulation of acculturative stress as a result of pre-migration trauma will also be discussed. Recomme ndations about best clinical practices in working with this population will be offered.
Source: Clinical Social Work Journal - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

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