Immigrant Experience and Its Psychological Toll Information Term Paper

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Immigrant Experience

And Its Psychological Toll

Information Competency & Library Use

San Francisco, CA

The theoretical framework centers of the immigrant experience and how it changes the individual while navigating his or her new society. The topic statement seeks to explore these phenomena by focusing on the psychological experience and its relationship to violence and economics. The idea that the action of immigrating is profoundly disruptive on ideas of self-worth, identity and economic status are explored.

I address the various experiences of dislocation arising from migration. Distinctions are made between experiences of voluntary immigrants and refugees and asylum seekers and between legal and undocumented immigrants in their risk for trauma exposure and differential impacts of trauma in the context of immigration. Refugee status as inherently founded in trauma is analyzed, with a brief description of torture survivors among refugees. The issue of trafficked migrants is also discussed. What is core to cultural competence in work with immigrants is that the psychotherapist remain cognizant of how even the most dominant culture person experiences disruptions as a result of dislocation, no matter how voluntary, no matter how easily accomplished, and no matter how positive and successful the outcome; considering the impact of those dislocations on subsequent or prior trauma will enhance cultural competence in work with immigrants.

The researcher will examine holistic immigration experience and empathy via psychology and economics with related phenomenon such as PTSD and violence. The researcher will focus on examples of these relationships.

Search Strategy

The researcher initially discovered a significant amount of material derived from the general categories of psychology, culture studies and sociology. Each of these subjects presented vast material in their own right. I had initially thought it would be challenging to find specific material on the immigrant experience but instead found that there was extensive data available. The research challenge was locating material that reflected the interdisciplinary focus of the work. My strategy then was to combine keywords, for example immigrant and psychology to get more specific results.

In general, when constructing my annotated research list I followed the guideline below to formulate my search topics and modifying the results. This approach can be followed for nearly any search request, whether it be simple or complex. A basic search strategy can help keep things organized and maximize efficiency: a) Identify the important concepts of your search; b) Choose the keywords that describe these concepts; c) Determine whether there are synonyms, related terms, or other variations of the keywords that should be included; d) Determine which search features may apply, including truncation, proximity operators, Boolean operators, and so forth; e) Read the search instructions on the search engine's home page. Look for sections entitled "Help," "Advanced Search," "Frequently Asked Questions,"; f) Create a search expression, using syntax, which is appropriate for the search engine; g) Evaluate the results. How many hits were returned? Were the results relevant to your query?; Modify your search if needed.

The books (Inclan, 2003 and Boutakidis, 2006) retrieved from the library database deal effectively with the immigrant experience, violence and psychotherapy. Both are ideal sources for research relating to my topic. The articles (Villeda, 2011; Ngyuen, 2007 and Consedine, 2007) were retrieved from Ebsco, Eric and PsycInfo respectively. Villeda (2011) focuses on the psychological toll of immigration and how it can be examined via a post traumatic stress disorder framework. Nguyen (2007) highlights the unique immigration experience of the Asian population and how issues of life stage and identity can help resolve conflict between the immigrant family and the larger community. Lastly, Consedine (2007) takes a psychological perspective on how ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic factors impact information sharing between clinicians and their immigrant patients and Berleant (2000) focused on the aesthetic experience of being an immigrant and how the psychological and emotional impact colors one's psychological profile. Beyond these sources, I wanted to extend my research into areas I am more unfamiliar with, such as economics, to strengthen the interdisciplinary foundation. Kandel (2011) looks at the economic challenges faced by Hispanic immigrants, while Hall (2010) wage disparities and legal issues faced by the community.

In short, these sources helped me in composing a comprehensive annotated bibliography. In constructing the list it was valuable to keep the purpose of annotation in mind. Each entry of an annotated bibliography must provide full bibliographical information as well as commentary about each source. An evaluative annotation includes an evaluation of the quality of the information; in answering the question of how successfully the author achieved what he/she set out to do. The key to a successful annotated bibliography is to be concise; since each entry's commentary is brief, you need to select the information carefully. Determine the source's central idea and be concise in conveying that information. This will require the ability both to determine what is central and to write about the ideas concisely and objectively.

Annotated Bibliography

Review Article

Bakson, C.L. (1998). Youth Gangs and the New Second Generation: A Review Essay. Agression and Violent Behavior, 3(1), 35-45. Retrieve from Google:

This review essay details changes in American immigration law which has led to an enormous increase in the number of immigrants arriving in the United States and to a shift in the countries of origin of American immigrants from Europe to Central and South America and Asia. The children of this new wave of immigrants have been labeled "the new second generation." At the same time that these children have grown to adolescence and young adulthood, violent youth gangs have become a prominent aspect of American life. While the children of immigrants are not only participants in gang activity, many gangs have appeared in neighborhoods where immigrants have settled, and these gangs are often based on the ethnic identities of immigrant groups. This essay discusses general theoretical trends in the literature relating to youth gangs in immigrant ethnic groups. It suggests that these trends may be classified as opportunity structure approaches, cultural approaches, and social disorganization approaches. The essay points out some of the major questions this literature raises or fails to address, and it suggests directions for the conceptualization of new ethnic gangs and for empirical research in this area.

Book 1

Boutakidis, I. (2006). Youth Violence, Immigration and Acculturation in Guerra. In N.G. Guerra and E. Smith (eds.), Preventing youth violence in a multicultural society (pp. 75-99). Washington, DC, U.S.: American Psychological Association. Retrieved from ProQuest:

This book is applicable as it helps to synthesize how the immigrant experience can manifest in socioeconomic challenges and violence in urban settings. It examines the influence of family and neighborhood contexts on Hispanic youth problem behavior. The effects of parents' perceptions of neighborhood context and parenting practices on problem behavior are examined. Neighborhood context is suggested to be critical to problem behavior through positive parenting in one-parent families. This work argues that parenting is embedded within greater ecological contexts and show that their relations with youth can vary across family structure. Implications for further investigation and prevention research are discussed.

Article 1

Consedine, N., Sabag-Cohen, S. And Krivoshekova, Y. (2007). Ethnic, Gender, and Socioeconomic Differences in Young Adults' Self-Disclosure. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 13(3), 254 -- 263. Retrieved from PsycNet:

This article is significant for my research as it is one of the few studies including gender that examining the impact of socioeconomics on patient-reviewer information sharing across class and ethnic lines. Although prior research suggests that men and underrepresented groups disclose less, ethnicity is conflated with socioeconomic status and there are few data regarding the types of information that different groups disclose and whether this information is disclosed equally to different people. The article presents data on self-disclosure in >200 young adults (50% African-American, 50% female). The article found that disclosure adjusting for socioeconomic status, African-Americans were not less likely to share information. However, ethnic identity and gender were found to influence disclosure. Interestingly, the nature of information being disclosed was influential in examining young men of different ethnicities and African-Americans in particular. Overall, these findings suggest that economic status is more significant in predicting low disclosure than ethnic identity or gender and that lower disclosure in low-disclosing groups is greater in intimate relationships. The article than goes on to discuss how these unique patterns of interpersonal communication might influence mental health services in these communities..


Farberman, R. (3 Mar 2006). Immigration's Impact. American Psychological Association. Retrieved from PsycNet:

This webpage deals with immigration as driving America's demographic change. On the page, demographers and others who work with immigrants and refugees are provided a venue to report their findings. This page is valuable for my research as psychologists play a critical role in ensuring that today's immigrants, especially children, have the access to education and health services that will allow them to succeed and become a successful part of the future American workforce. Assimilation and acculturation of this newer and browner wave of immigrants is progressing at a slower rate than it…[continue]

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