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Arbona, Consuelo; Olvera, Norma; Rodríguez, Nestor; Hagan, Jacqueline Maria; Linares, Adriana; & Wiesner, Margit (2010). Acculturative Stress among Documented and Undocumented Latino Immigrants in the United States. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 32(3), 362-384. PMCID: PMC4254683


The purpose of the study was to examine differences between documented and undocumented Latino immigrants in the prevalence of three immigration-related challenges (separation from family, traditionality, and language difficulties), which were made more severe after the passage of restrictive immigration legislation in 1996. Specifically, the study sought to determine the combined and unique associations of legal status, the three immigration-related challenges listed above, and fear of deportation to acculturative stress related to family and other social contexts. Participants in the study consisted of 416 documented and undocumented Mexican and Central American immigrants living in two major cities in Texas. The Hispanic Stress Inventory-Immigrant form was used to assess acculturative stress in the sample. Results indicated that although undocumented immigrants reported higher levels of the immigration challenges of separation from family, traditionality, and language difficulties than documented immigrants, both groups reported similar levels of fear of deportation. Results also indicated that the immigration challenges and undocumented status were uniquely associated with extrafamilial acculturative stress but not with intrafamilial acculturative stress. Only fear of deportation emerged as a unique predictor of both extrafamililal and intrafamilial acculturative stress.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences


Arbona, Consuelo
Olvera, Norma
Rodríguez, Nestor
Hagan, Jacqueline Maria
Linares, Adriana
Wiesner, Margit