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Is US immigration policy environment associated with mental health outcomes for US-born teens of of immigrant parents

June 24, 2019

Bottom Line: The current immigration policy environment in America appears to be associated with reported adverse mental health outcomes among U.S.-born children of Latinx immigrants. Data were used from a group of 397 U.S.-born adolescents with at least one immigrant parent from a long-term study of Mexican farmworker families in the Salinas Valley of California. Researchers examined associations between adolescent self-reported concerns about immigration policy collected at age 16 on an assessment tool and changes in their mental and physical health before (when they were 14) and in the first year after the 2016 election (when they were 16). Nearly half of the Latinx adolescents were worried at least sometimes about the personal consequences of U.S. immigration policy, family separation because of deportation, and being reported to the immigration office. High (versus low or moderate) scores on the assessment about concerns over immigration policy were associated with higher anxiety and worse sleep scores. A limitation of the study to consider is that researchers didn't know the immigration status of parents.

Author: Brenda Eskenazi, Ph.D., of the University of California, Berkeley, and coauthors

(doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.1475)

Editor's Note: The article contains conflict of interest and funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
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JAMA Pediatrics

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