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Paper on DACA and psycholgical health published in Social Science & Medicine

In this paper, “From Undocumented to Lawfully Present: Do Changes to Legal Status Impact Psychological Wellbeing Among Latino Immigrant Young Adults?” Caitlin Patler and Whitney N. Laster Pirtle. examine the impacts of legal status and changes in legal status on wellbeing. Announced in 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program allows eligible undocumented youth to apply for temporary lawful status. Drawing on survey data from 487 Latino immigrant young adults in California collected in 2014 and 2015, Patler and Whitney Pirtle analyze the predictors of three outcomes related to immigrants’ psychological wellbeing—distress, negative emotions, and deportation worry before and after a transition from undocumented to lawfully present status. Results show that retrospective reports of past psychological wellness, when all respondents were undocumented, are predicted primarily by socioeconomic status. However, reports of current psychological wellness are predicted by DACA status. The results demonstrate, for the first time, the positive emotional consequences of transitioning out of undocumented status for immigrant young adults.

This research was covered on Public Radio International, CNN, Highly Relevant Podcast, KFBK News Radio, NPR/Valley Public Radio, and University of California News, as well as featured on Youth Circulations Blog, ImmigrationProf Blog, and American Sociological Association Section on Inequality, Poverty, and Mobility “My Two Cents” Column.

This research was covered on Public Radio International, CNN, Highly Relevant Podcast, KFBK News Radio, NPR/Valley Public Radio, and University of California News, as well as featured on Youth Circulations Blog, ImmigrationProf Blog, and American Sociological Association Section on Inequality, Poverty, and Mobility “My Two Cents” Column.