Online Program

Rema LaPouse Award Lecture: William Vega

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 12:30 p.m. - 12:50 p.m.

William Vega, PhD, Edward R. Roybal Institute on Aging School of Social Work University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
A synthesis of the author's own research and that of other important contemporary scholars, the talk presents what we know and what vital questions remain unanswered about, broadly stated, how migration creates a liability for emotional distress and related pathologies, and how such risks might be reduced. The body of “Inter-Americas” migration research provides a unique opportunity to examine large-scale migration over time, and across generations, with attention to both sending and receiving nations to improve our understanding of contextual processes and population features. New studies are needed to bridge silos of research. The social science and public health research in migrants' health, simply stated, explores antecedents and consequences of migration for different populations. The careful description of who migrates and why, detailing the social processes associated with resettlement, intergenerational readjustment, systems of support and, ultimately, quantifying rates of pathologies and diseases, are at the forefront of this research. This literature dispels many prevalent myths about migration. Consensus reviews of these subfields can presage the next stage of integrative research on emotional distress and alleviation of disease burden. The cumulative empirical evidence from this large body of research is substantial. Investigators can take these findings and apply them at the intersection of life course research, social determinants, and exposure to specific environmental conditions. This approach should provide greater pragmatic value and theoretical relevance for designing interventions associated with emotional health of migrants and their children. The presentation critically examines the evidence for this perspective and offers recommendations for future research.

Learning Areas:

Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Explain the primary research evidence of risk for emotional distress and associated pathologies attributable to the migration experience. Describe the key lines of social and public health research that enrich understanding of resilience and vulnerabilities of migratory subpopulations. Identify key bridging areas of research with the greatest potential for public health policy and practice to advance the health of vulnerable migrant populations.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an author of this presentation because I have conducted community and clinical research projects on health, mental health and substance abuse throughout the United States and Latin America with a focus on multi-cultural epidemiologic and services research with adolescents and adults. This work that has been funded by multiple public and private sources.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.