The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has been suggested as a trauma and stress related event associated with increased depression, anxiety and stress among university students. Among the populations most affected by the pandemic were first-generation immigrant students in the United States. University students with the combined status of being immigrants and first-generation have increased risk and incidence of mental health issues related to guilt, shame, confusion, marginalization and deprivation. COVID-19 had far-reaching impact on fist-generation and immigrant students’ education, livelihoods and overall wellbeing. The pandemic brought significant changes to the students and also further exposed deeply rooted and less-addressed gaps and inequalities in higher education in the United States. The pandemic created new and exacerbated existing psychological problems in this population. Psychological resilience is considered a promising mechanism for individuals, groups and populations to cope with, recover from, and thrive after experiencing trauma and stress related events such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Numerous studies also indicate social support as an essential protective mechanism for maintaining mental and psychological health. There is a lack of empirical studies exploring how first-generation immigrant students in the United States coped with depression, anxiety and stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic. To fill the gap in the literature, this study explores first-generation immigration students’ perceptions on resilience, social support, and coping during COVID-19. The study will employ a qualitative research approach, the focus groups research strategy, and thematic analysis. Participants will include university students drawn from a public research university in Texas.
Suzan Yesil, Texas Tech University, United States