Date of Graduation

Spring 6-1-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (PsyD)


School of Nursing and Health Professions


Clinical Psychology (PsyD)

First Advisor

Erin Grinshteyn

Second Advisor

Genevieve Negron-Gonzales

Third Advisor

David Martinez


Having an undocumented legal status is a risk factor for mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety among university students. Much of the literature on the experiences of university students who hold an undocumented legal status has primarily focused on better understanding the educational, social, financial, and legal challenges among undergraduate students. The literature has addressed how some of these difficulties impact components of their social and mental health wellness. Yet, there is still a dearth of research focused on further understanding the experiences of students who hold an undocumented legal status from a psychological perspective, and specifically, with respect to the psychological effects of fear. This study focuses on understanding the long-lasting mental health effects of various forms of fear among university students, including undergraduate and graduate students. This parallel convergent mixed-methods study examines mental health outcomes such as anxiety, depression, and trauma related to fear of deportation, fear of detention, fear of microaggressions, fear of hate speech, and fear of crime since the election of Donald Trump among university students who hold an undocumented legal status.