Rema Lapouse Award Lecture: William Vega, PhD
Monday, November 4, 2013: 12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Migration and Emotional Vulnerability: How to Link Dynamics of Selection, Personal Adjustment, and Differential Social Exposure.
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.
Session Objectives: 1. Explain the primary research evidence of risk for emotional distress and associated pathologies attributable to the migration experience.
2. Describe the key lines of social and public health research that enrich understanding of resilience and vulnerabilities of migratory subpopulations.
3. Identify key bridging areas of research with the greatest potential for public health policy and practice to advance the health of vulnerable migrant populations.
See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.
Organized by: Mental Health
Endorsed by: Epidemiology, Applied Public Health Statistics
Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH)