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Living in an Immigrant Family in America: How Fear and Toxic Stress Are Affecting Daily Life, Well-Being, & Health

Date published: December, 2017 (24 pages)

With the Trump administration pursuing new restrictions on immigration and increased immigration enforcement, the political and social climate for immigrant families in the United States has changed substantially over the last year. A new Kaiser Family Foundation report, developed with support from Blue Shield of California Foundation, explores how these shifts are affecting families in California and across the country. The report, Living in an Immigrant Family in America: How Fear and Toxic Stress Are Affecting Daily Life, Well-Being, & Health—which draws on focus groups with immigrant families and interviews with pediatricians—finds that immigrants from a variety of backgrounds report rising fear and anxiety that is affecting their daily lives and well-being as well as the health of their children, who are predominantly U.S.-born citizens.

The report is based on focus groups conducted in 5 languages with 100 parents in immigrant families from 15 countries, as well as telephone interviews with 13 pediatricians who serve immigrant communities. Focus groups were conducted in eight cities and four states: Chicago, Illinois, Boston, Massachusetts; and Anaheim, Fresno, Los Angeles, Oakland and San Diego, California.

A panel of experts discussed the report at a public briefing held by Kaiser Family Foundation at its Washington, D.C. offices. An archived webcast of the briefing, as well as copies of presentation slides and other materials, is available on kff.org.