Author ORCID Identifier


Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Oswaldo Moreno

Second Advisor

Dr. Fantasy Lozada

Third Advisor

Dr. Dina Garcia


Despite their protective potential against anti-immigrant sentiment and policy, the connections between bicultural identity development and culturally relevant coping among temporarily documented Latinx college students remain unstudied. Therefore, this study (a) describes culturally relevant coping strategies used by bicultural Latinx college students, (b) examines the role cultural identity plays in bicultural Latinx college students’ coping strategies, and (c) illuminates the role institutional level systems play in liminally-documented college students’ coping with anti-immigrant sentiment and policy. Participants in this study included 16 Latine college students (Mage = 21.19, SD = 3.21) with DACA (n = 14) or TPS (n = 2) documentation. Participants completed a demographics questionnaire, the Bidimensional Acculturation Scale for Hispanics (BAS), and a semi-structured interview. Transcripts were coded by a Spanish-speaking research team (N = 3). Data were analyzed via a secondary qualitative analysis using an inductive thematic analysis approach. Results found that bicultural Latine college students with temporary documentation coped with anti-immigrant sentiment and policy by participating in activism, seeking social support, exploring and feeling committed to their cultural identity, engaging in private religiosity, avoiding/denying, and reframing their struggles. Results are discussed and contextualized within culturally relevant coping and bicultural identity development literature. Implications for clinicians, academic institutions, and researchers are outlined along with study limitations and future directions.


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