Welcome to the Development of Immigrant Youth in Action Lab. We are a community of scholars, practitioners and educators focused on bringing awareness and action around the issues immigrant youth face. We explore the ways in which immigrant-origin adolescents and emerging adults are engaging in their families, communities and schools, how they form multiple identities and navigate social institutions. We rely on a diverse toolset of methods to investigate these questions.
Check out the preliminary findings from DIYA Lab's latest project on Civic Engagement
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Our short film:
Spirit of Resistance: Reclaiming Our Voices
Presentations coming soon.
Our work has been published in many diverse and far reaching academic scholarly journals and publications. It's an honor to have our work in the world of academia, but it's also a privilege to be able to challenge current scholarship and push the boundaries and expectations of current research. To include voices and perspectives of many people who haven't been listened to for far to long.
The current estimate of the unauthorized population in the United States is 10.8 million people (with nearly half (42%) of that population being women and girls). Unauthorized women and girls face unique challenges not only as immigrant women but also as a result of their legal status. Situated in an ecological perspective, we
present a conceptual framework for understanding the unique challenges faced by unauthorized women and girls, including the unique challenges of acculturation, discrimination and trauma and the presenting mental health problems that may arise from these challenges. Further, we also delineate barriers to treatment
including structural obstacles, differences in perceptions of mental health, preferred sources of help, and alternate coping styles which have been thought to contribute to the underutilization of mental health services by immigrants. Lastly, treatment considerations for mental health professionals will be discussed when working with
this unique population.
The aim of this study was to understand how Latino and Afro-Caribbean immigrant-origin community college students conceptualize adulthood and understand their adult identities. The data are drawn from semi-structured group interviews with 17 low-income immigrant-origin students from three diverse community college campuses in an urban center in the Northeast. The The authors organized the results as a series of dialectic tensions that highlight the contradictions present in the everyday lives of participants. Results reveal that the central task of emerging adulthood is to navigate the multiple divergent messages about what it means to be an adult between home and school contexts. For low-income immigrant-origin community college students, adulthood was defined both by individual responsibility and by social responsibility. Emerging adulthood becomes a time of assuming responsibility for oneself as well as for other loved ones. These findings suggest that developmental pathways vary for immigrant-origin emerging adults and provide avenues for further research to explore how this population emerges into adulthood.
In this article, Carola Suárez-Orozco and colleagues investigate how to improve undocumented undergraduate student experiences across a variety of US cam- puses. The authors draw on a national survey of diverse undocumented under- graduates attending two- and four-year public and private institutions of higher education. Using an ecological framework that accounts for risk and resilience, Suárez- Orozco and colleagues provide insights into the challenges undocumented under- graduates face and the assets they bring as they navigate their educational contexts. The authors also consider the role of campuses in shaping these experiences and make recommendations, based on quantitative data and the perspectives of students, for creating undocufriendly campuses.
Undocumented youth face a series of barriers to health and success in their lives, yet many also exhibit incredible resilience and are thriving despite these odds. A critical component of thriving during adulthood is contribution to family and community (Lerner et al., 2002). In this study, a team of (un)documented researchers conducted a multilayered exploration of contribution by examining the findings of a qualitative study of undocumented undergraduates embedded in a PAR Summer Program designed to serve undocumented students at a large public university. We present results from two layers of qualitative data: (a) transcripts from the Summer Program, which revealed important methodological turning points for our design of the embedded qualitative study; (b) two portraits of undocumented undergraduates’ visual (identity maps) and verbal (interview) narratives regarding contribution. By crafting a design that allowed undocumented youth to describe their families through visual and verbal narratives, we were able to gather thick descriptions of contribution. We describe both theoretical and methodological turning points in understanding contribution for undocumented young people as we undertook this project. Further, through the analysis of interviews and “family maps” of two undocumented undergraduate participants we explored the role of contribution to their family and community, as an asset to their development and academic success. Results revealed the reciprocal nature of contribution between family and community members, a value we refer to as collective contribution.
In this article we share exploratory findings from a study that captures microaggressions (MAs) in vivo to shed light on how they occur in classrooms. These brief and commonplace indignities communicate derogatory slights and insults toward individuals of underrepresented status contributing to invalidating and hostile learning experiences. Our aim is to expand the ways in which we research and think about MAs in educational settings. Our data are drawn from structured observations of 60 diverse classrooms on three community college campuses. Our findings provide evidence that classroom MAs occur frequently—in nearly 30% of the observed community college classrooms. Although cultural/racial as well as gendered MAs were observed, the most frequent types of MAs were those that undermined the intelligence and competence of students. MAs were more likely to be delivered on campuses with the highest concentration of minority students and were most frequently delivered by instructors. We conclude by reflecting on the implications of these events for classroom climate and make recommendations for both future research and practice.
Katsiaficas, D., & Suárez-Orozco, C. (2013). Liminal bodies: Clinical implications for unauthorized women and girls. Women & Therapy, 36, 286-301.
Katsiaficas, D., Suárez-Orozco, C., & Dias, S. I. (2014). “When do I feel like an adult?” Immigrant-origin community college students’ conceptualizations and experiences of (emerging) adulthood. Emerging Adulthood, doi: 10.1177/2167696814548059
Suárez-Orozco, C., Katsiaficas, D., Birchall, O., Alcantar, C. M., Hernandez, E., Garcia, Y., Michikyan, M., Cerda, J., & Teranishi, R. T. (2015). Undocumented Undergraduates on College Campuses: Understanding Their Challenges and Assets and What It Takes to Make an Undocufriendly Campus. Harvard Educational Review, 85 (3), 427-463.
Katsiaficas, D., Alcantar, C. M., Hernandez, E., Gutierrez, M.N., Samayoa, E., Texis, O.R., & Williams, Z. (2016). Important theoretical and methodological turning points for understanding contribution with undocumented undergraduates. Qualitative Psychology, 3 (1), 7-25. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/qup0000043.
Suárez-Orozco, C., Casanova, S. Martin, M., Katsiaficas, D., Cuellar, V. Smith, N.A., & Dias, S. I. (2015). Toxic Rain in Class: Classroom Interpersonal Microaggressions. Educational Researcher, 44 (3), 151-160. DOI: 10.3102/0013189X15580314.
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Spirit of Resistance: Reclaiming our Voices - Multimedia zine - 2017
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believe that data dissemination isn't only for journals and university discussions. We believe in taking our research to the people and presenting it in ways that is accessible, shareable and can carry on in the world to make an impact beyond the Ivory Tower. If you come across a piece of our media and it resonates with you, please feel free to share it widely on social media and in your academic circles.
It's Time - 2014 - From the Undocuscholars Summer Session
Spirit of Resistance - 2017
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