Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1268-9314

Date of Award

12-17-2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Gabriel P. Kuperminc

Second Advisor

Laura McKee

Third Advisor

Kathleen Roche

Abstract

A large body of research has demonstrated that uncertain threats increase emotional arousal, negative mood, and worry. However, uncertainty in the context of political climate has been understudied. The current qualitative study examined the experiences of uncertainty and their perceived effects among Latinx immigrant parents with diverse documentation statuses (undocumented, TPS, permanent resident, and U.S. Citizen) during a restrictive immigration policy climate. The findings revealed seven major themes: immigration policy changes, discrimination/racism, enforcement actions, anticipated consequences, distrust, fear/anxiety, and preventative/preparatory action. Findings indicate that the unpredictable aspects of threats to personal, familial, and community safety contributed to uncertainty and related adverse effects in restrictive political climates. This uncertainty about the likelihood, timing, and location of threats influenced feelings of anxiety, perceptions of trustworthiness and vulnerability, and behaviors to safeguard against potential threats.

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