Marginalized communities, such as immigrants, individuals from low socioeconomic backgrounds, and racial minorities, are more likely to face adverse social risk factors limiting their access to resources and opportunities, and thereby adversely affecting their health throughout the life course. Alein studies how systems create social conditions that affect health outcomes and create health inequities. Alein’s research focuses on the association between occupational and non-occupational exposures to health among the most vulnerable workers, including immigrant day laborers. She also seeks to understand how one’s social environment and socioeconomic position shape both 1) how the stress process unfolds, and 2) the social patterning of mental health outcomes. Presently, she is interested in how immigration policy vulnerabilities manifest in psychosocial distress among migrant day laborers, and whether social support can help mitigate immigration policies’ adverse health effects. Alein seeks to use her research to build a more inclusive society for all.
MORE ABOUT ALEIN
As an immigrant and the first member of her family to go to college, Alein’s research interests are shaped by her lived experience. From a young age, she knew that legal status shapes access to health care, quality education, and job prospects. Building on her research, she aims to shape federal and state policies to improve social conditions for all immigrants.
DISSERTATION GRANT AWARDEE — SUMMER 2022
Immigration and Racial Hierarchies: Structural Sources of Mental Health Disparities and Digital Innovations for Mental Health Among U.S. Latinxs
The proposed dissertation examines how immigration status and racial stratification shape social experiences and public policies that impact mental health outcomes. This research spans two areas: 1) applying population-based research methods, including regression analysis, mixed-methods, and multi-level modeling, to clarify the mental health consequences of social stratification that differentially distribute risks/opportunities based on immigration status and race/ethnicity, and 2) adapting, implementing, and evaluating an evidence-based digital health innovation that addresses mental health disparities among U.S. Latinxs.
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