Immigration Policies Linked To Severe Mental Health Issues In Teens

by Paromita Datta published on -

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The current immigration policies could be putting the mental health of adolescents at dangerous risk. A study published in Jama Pediatrics found that changes in immigration policies that are tied to deportation or detention have led to increased risky behavior, such as suicidal thoughts, alcohol use, school failure, and chronic mental health problems among young Latino and Latinas. The research also pointed out that most of these adolescents are American citizens.

A female teenager looking sad/depressed/thoughtful looking out of a window

How are current immigration policies affecting Latina/Latino youth? Photo Credit: Shutterstock

For the survey, the researchers interviewed randomly selected 547 Latino/Latina adolescents from suburban Atlanta, Georgia, school district. The participants were chosen from middle schools. The first survey was between February and April of 2018. A follow-up was conducted in January 2019. The data were analyzed to check if deportation or detention of a family member in the previous 12 months was linked to alcohol use, suicidal ideation, and clinical externalizing symptoms. The survey also factored in initial mental health and risk behavior.

Of the 547 adolescents surveyed, 136 had seen a family member being detained or deported in the previous year. 38 of them expressed suicidal ideation, 25 showed alcohol use, and 31 displayed externalizing behavior. This was significantly higher than the figures among the rest of the 411 youths.

 

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About the Author

Paromita Datta covers the latest health and wellness trends for Organic Facts. An ex-journalist who specialized in health and entertainment news, Paromita was responsible for managing a health supplement for The New Indian Express, a leading national daily in India. She has completed her post-graduation in Business Administration from the University of Rajasthan and her diploma in journalism from YMCA, Delhi. She has completed an e-course, Introduction to Food and Health, from Stanford University, US.

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