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Date of Award

Summer 7-22-2019

Degree Type

Dissertation (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Ruth Zúñiga, PhD


Latinos comprise the largest ethnic and racial minority group in the United States. Currently, 59 million Latinos live in the United States, constituting approximately 18% of the total U.S. population. Latinos account for 40% of all foreign-born immigrants in the United States. As the Latino population in the United States continues to grow, it is important to identify resiliency factors that support Latino immigrants’ achievement of positive adaptation when resettling in the United States. The purpose of this study was to discover the intrapersonal, interpersonal, and environmental factors that support adult Latino immigrants’ positive adaptation in the United States. The goal of this study was accomplished via a qualitative grounded theory informed research design. Latino immigrants shared their experiences of resettling in the United States, including the adverse factors they encountered and the resiliency factors used during resettlement to achieve positive adaptation. Results based on individual interviews of 12 Latinos revealed that Latino immigrants experience adversities during resettlement including Language Barriers, Distance from Family, Discrimination, and Navigating an Unfamiliar Environment and Culture. In addition, results indicated that participants used resiliency factors from the following three categories: Intrapersonal factors, Interpersonal Relationships, and Environmental factors to achieve positive adaptation. Based on the findings, a theory of resiliency for positive adaptation was developed. The results can inform the development of strength-based programs and practices to support the needs of this community. The study concludes with recommendations for policy and practice.

Available for download on Wednesday, July 28, 2021