Study: Undocumented Students Report High Levels of Anxiety
Details of Study
For the national study, which was conducted in 2014, researchers surveyed 909 students attending four-year and two-year colleges in 34 states. The respondents represented 55 countries, the most common of which were Mexico and other areas of Latin America.
The study was funded by the Ford Foundation, and the results were unveiled Monday during a California Community Foundation conference.
California and some other states have lowered tuition and increased financial aid for undocumented immigrants, prompting more undocumented individuals to enroll in classes.
However, the study found that nearly 37% of female undocumented students and about 29% of male undocumented students reported stress levels above clinically healthy standards. According to the Times, that rate was at least four times the anxiety level of the general college population.
Undocumented students' anxiety often was fuelled by concerns about family members being deported (Gordon, Los Angeles Times, 1/27). Specifically, the study found that about 76% of undocumented students reported concerns about their own potential deportation or detainment. Meanwhile, about 56% said they knew someone who had been deported.
To address high anxiety levels among undocumented students, the researchers recommended:
- Improving mental health counseling for students with immigration status issues (UCLA study, January 2015);
- Increasing philanthropy for scholarships by the private sector; and
- Re-examining federal laws that bar financial aid to undocumented students (Los Angeles Times, 1/27).