From Undocumented to DACAmented: Can Changes to Legal Status Impact Psychological Wellbeing?

re-posted from

June 15 marks the 5-year anniversary of the DACA program. For the first time, a recent study analyzes DACA’s impacts on recipients’ psychological wellbeing. The results are clear: DACA can make you feel better, though it may not resolve concerns about deportation.

by Caitlin Patler and Whitney Laster Pirtle

Original art by Liliana Alonso and Andres “Rhips” Rivera.

Undocumented immigrant youth in the United States face a host of challenges that impact their psychological wellbeing. Many experience hopelessness, shame and self-blame, anxiety, fear of deportation, and concern about blocked social mobility. One recent study found that undocumented youth experience a loss of “ontological security,” or the inability to count on the stability of the future. Another study led by immigrant youth at the UCLA Dream Resource Center found that undocumented youth struggle with depression, anxiety, trauma, and emotional distress related to their status. There have even been reports of suicide among undocumented young people who felt they could not overcome the barriers imposed by their status.

Continue reading From Undocumented to DACAmented: Can Changes to Legal Status Impact Psychological Wellbeing?

New Book Release: ‘Children as Caregivers’ by Jean Hunleth

In Zambia, due to the rise of tuberculosis and the closely connected HIV epidemic, a large number of children have experienced the illness or death of at least one parent. Children as Caregivers examines how well intentioned practitioners fail to realize that children take on active caregiving roles when their guardians become seriously ill and demonstrates why understanding children’s care is crucial for global health policy.

Using ethnographic methods, and listening to the voices of the young as well as adults, Jean Hunleth makes the caregiving work of children visible. She shows how children actively seek to “get closer” to ill guardians by providing good care. Both children and ill adults define good care as attentiveness of the young to adults’ physical needs, the ability to carry out treatment and medication programs in the home, and above all, the need to maintain physical closeness and proximity. Children understand that losing their guardians will not only be emotionally devastating, but that such loss is likely to set them adrift in Zambian society, where education and advancement depend on maintaining familial, reciprocal relationships. View a gallery of images from the book.

Children as Caregivers: The Global Fight against Tuberculosis and HIV in Zambia (Rutgers Series in Childhood Studies, March 2017) is now available for purchase online through multiple retailers, including Rutgers and Eurospan. An online art gallery of the children’s drawings is also available through Flickr, and helps illustrate the children’s caregiving throughout the book.

NEOS February 2017 issue now available!

The February 2017 issue of Neos is now available for your reading pleasure at

Some highlights:

  • Childhood and the Anthropology of Violent Radicalization (Marisa O. Ensor (Georgetown U))
  • Adolescence and Global Mental Health: Perceptions of Emotional Wellbeing in Tijuana, Mexico (Olga L. Olivas Hernandez (U of California – San Diego), Sol D’Urso (UCSD), and Janis H. Jenkins (UCSD))
  • Childhood and Digital Civics: How Fieldwork with Youth Highlights the Need to Rethink Civic Education in Canada (Megan Cotnam-Kappel (U of Ottawa))
  • NEW BOOK ANNOUNCEMENTS Let us know what you think! Share your reactions in a Letter to the Editor at [email protected].

New Book Release: ‘Crying for Our Elders’ by Kristen Cheney

Crying for Our Elders: African Orphanhood in the Age of HIV and AIDS, is now shipping from the University of Chicago Press. Click HERE to access an order form for 20% off the list price. Then click on FILES and choose the EU or the US order form.

CfP – One Child, Many Hands: A Multidisciplinary Conference on Child Welfare

Download the OCMH Conference flyer announcement for full details.
Call for papers deadline: January 15, 2017

One Child, Many Hands: A Multidisciplinary Conference on Child Welfare is a multidisciplinary conference geared for child welfare practitioners, policy makers and administrators alike. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is serving as Lead Community Sponsor of the conference, to be held at the beautiful and historic University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Opening the conference is acclaimed author, professor, and foster parent, Cris Beam. Cris’ book, To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care, was named a New York Times Notable Book in 2013 and is a must-read for those working in the child welfare system.

In keeping with this year’s theme of Transcending Adversity, closing the conference will be Dr. Robert Anda, co-principal investigator and co-founder of the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACEs) for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This groundbreaking 17,000 patient study tracked the effects of child abuse and childhood trauma on health throughout the lifespan, and is clearly one of the most influential pieces of research of our time.

Obtain further details of the conference online.

Job Positions (2)—Department of Child and Youth studies at Brock University, Canada

The Department of Child and Youth Studies at Brock University is inviting applications for the following 2 positions:

Position 1: Welfare and Well-being of Children and Youth

The Department of Child and Youth Studies at Brock University invites applications for a a probationary (tenure track) appointment at the rank of Assistant Professor, effective July 1, 2017. The position is subject to budgetary approval. Continue reading Job Positions (2)—Department of Child and Youth studies at Brock University, Canada

CfP—Children and Childhoods Conference 2017

The call for papers for our Biennial International Children and Childhoods Conference is open. Papers are invited that theoretically and empirically engage with a broad range of disciplines reflecting the diverse nature of contemporary childhood studies.

18th and 19th July, University of Suffolk, Ipswich, UK

Continue reading CfP—Children and Childhoods Conference 2017

Neos highlights—Interdisciplinary Action on Pediatric Injury

Applied anthropologists often work in fields that have not been adequately explored through ethnographic or qualitative methods. See how researcher Nazia Hussain comes to understand the impact of anthropology within the field of injury prevention in “Positioning Anthropology at the Intersection of Pediatric Injury and Motor Vehicle Collision: A Need for Interdisciplinary Action,” pp. 9-10 of the October 2016 issue of Neos (

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