Psychological Distress Among College Immigrants Students

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Psychological Distress among College Immigrants Students Luz Moreno Miami Dade College/Interamerican Campus Psychological Distress among College Immigrants Students Immigrants in a new society find many acculturation difficulties in their daily lives including their immigration status, language barrier and even discrimination. Immigrants may be faced with special problems, not only in their relationships with the host society, but with their group of peers. Immigrant students, for example, may have problems enrolling in courses and may face recurring problems of time pressure or problems maintaining relationships with friends. These types of daily difficulties experienced by students, both family and non-family related, have been previously associated with psychological distress (Kohn et al., 1990; Kohn, Lafreniere, & Gurevich, 1991). A substantial number of immigrants attend colleges and universities in United States. While these individuals have to adopt a new life which is often flooded with unfamiliar American cultural practices, beliefs and values (Rodriguez, Myers, Morris, & Cardoza, 2000), they also experience difficulties in adjusting to school, the new educational system and stress in acquiring the English language (Perry & Weinstein, 1998). Changes in learning and teaching patterns, lack of social support as well as emphasis on academic excellence add more pressure to these immigrant students. Difficulties and stressors arising as part of this adaptation process create stress with a possibility of creating different types of mental illness (Joiner & Walker, 2002). As a result, college immigrant students experience psychological distress as they try to adapt to college in a different culture. Minor daily hassles and major life events combine to create a stressful life. Daily

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