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How Social Network Members Communicate Support (or a Lack of Support) to DACAmented College Students

Funding Source:  Chicano Studies Institute
Principal Investigator: Dr. Jennifer Kam

Using a resilience framework, this project examines the stress, coping, and resiliency of DACAmented college students, primarily of Latin American origin. First, DACAmented students will participate in semi-structured telephone interviews to help us understand the stressors that DACAmented students face (e.g., microaggressions, uncertainty, fear of deportation), how DACAmented students cope with such challenges, and how others (e.g., allies, DACAmented friends, and family members) communicate support or a lack of support. Second, DACAmented students will complete an online pre-survey, an audio-recorded conversation with a friend, and an online post-survey three times across the academic year, as well as an end-of-the-year survey. The goal is to understand how DACAmented students and their friends talk about undocumented stressors in real time (not self-reported) and to identify messages that are more effective than others at improving DACAmented students’ mental health, enhancing their academic motivation, and decreasing their substance use. Because DACAmented students might interact differently when friends who are allies versus DACAmented, this project will examine differences in conversations and their effects. Lastly, each dyad will engage in a positive reframing technique during their second and third conversations. If the positive reframing technique attenuates stress, this technique can be encouraged in a campus-wide campaign.

PUBLICATIONS: Communication Monographs: Taylor & Francis