Psychological Science Faculty Publications and Presentations


A Comparison of Psychological Stress and Sleep Problems in Undocumented Students, DACA Recipients, and U.S. Citizens

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Amidst the uncertainty of a shifting political landscape, our study examined stress and sleep problems experienced by both Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) undergraduates and non-DACA undocumented immigrants in an undergraduate population, in relation to students who were US citizens. We surveyed 969 students (93% Hispanic; 69% female) in 2017 or 2019 using established measures of stress, sleep quality, and insomnia. Collapsed across years, undocumented students reported significantly greater stress than citizens and DACA students, but DACA students did not differ from citizens. No differences were found in sleep for either quality or insomnia. Additionally, DACA student stress was significantly higher in 2019 than 2017, rising to a level similar to that of undocumented students and that differed significantly from citizens. Undocumented students appear to experience greater stress than students who are U.S. citizens, but these differences do not extend to sleep quality or insomnia.

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Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health