U.S. Immigration Climate and Mental Health Outcomes of Latinx Immigrants (2020-2021)


Anecdotal reports and several empirical studies have suggested that the current immigration climate has negatively impacted the mental health of immigrant communities in the U.S. Much of the political focus has been on Latinx immigrants specifically, with enforcement of immigration policies at the U.S.-Mexico border and in Central America. In order to inform immigration policy that promotes the well-being of immigrant communities in the U.S., it is important to document and understand how the current U.S. immigration climate is influencing the mental health of Latinx immigrants in the U.S. and in North Carolina specifically, where there is a rapidly growing Latinx population.

Project Description

This project team will examine the impact of the current U.S. immigration climate on the mental health outcomes of Latinx immigrants living in North Carolina from 2017-2020 through integrating data from a Duke School of Nursing study with immigration-related media resources.

Team members will collaborate with the Community Engagement Core at Duke’s Clinical Translational Science Institute (CTSI) to host a community consultative studio with a group of local Latinx immigrants to gain feedback on the media sources they use to obtain information on federal, state and local immigration-related events. Based on this consultation, the team will identify sources for further analysis and tracking.

Team members will integrate data from media sources with data on mental health outcomes from a Duke School of Nursing study on health, stress and resiliency (the SER – Salud, Estres y Resiliencia – Hispano study) among Latinx immigrants. With this longitudinal data, the team will examine relationships among stress, resiliency and health outcomes in Latinx immigrants from the ages of 18 to 44 in North Carolina.

The team’s goals will include the dissemination of findings to academic, policy and community stakeholders as well as providing training in culturally relevant research methods to widen the pipeline of population health researchers.

Anticipated Outputs

Peer-reviewed publications; presentations; fact sheets for community members; policy briefs and presentations to local policy-makers


Spring 2020 – Fall 2020

  • Spring 2020: Begin weekly meetings; begin training in research methods; develop plan for data collection and analysis
  • Summer 2020: Continue data collection and analysis
  • Fall 2020: Continue data analysis; develop policy briefs and presentations for local policy-makers; write articles for publication; present findings at conferences

This Team in the News

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Immigration word cloud.

Team Leaders

  • Irene Felsman, School of Nursing
  • Gabriela Nagy Carrasquel, School of Medicine-Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
  • Allison Stafford, School of Nursing

/graduate Team Members

  • Anna Holleman, Sociology-PHD

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Aasha Henderson, Sociology (AB)
  • Karina Moreno Bueno, Biology (BS), Global Health (AB2)
  • Aneri Tanna
  • Guadalupe Tarango-Garcia, Psychology (BS), Global Health (AB2)

/yfaculty/staff Team Members

  • Rushina Cholera, School of Medicine-Pediatrics: Primary Care Pediatrics
  • Scott De Marchi, Arts & Sciences-Political Science
  • Katherine Evans, Duke Law
  • Rosa Gonzalez-Guarda, School of Nursing

/zcommunity Team Members

  • Eliazar Posada, El Centro Hispano