Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

Dionne Stephens

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Asia Eaton

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Nadja Schreiber-Compo

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Mariana Sanchez

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fifth Advisor's Name

Seth Schwartz

Fifth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


Immigration, Immigrants, Emerging Adults, College Students, Perceptions, Attitudes

Date of Defense



The United States (U.S.) has consistently had the largest populations of immigrants worldwide over the last two centuries, contributing to immigration’s ongoing importance as a political, social, economic, and health topic. A central point of focus has been attitudes toward immigration, which prior research has noted is influenced by both individual level and sociopolitical contextual factors. However, few studies have examined these attitudes comparatively across differing immigrant populations (e.g. nation of origin, type of immigration). Nor has the influence of perceivers’ stage of identity and social development been considered (e.g. emerging adult, generation of immigration, civic values). Utilizing quantitative methods, the current project will employ the Stereotype Content Model to: (1) explore the relationship between attitudes toward immigrants, social policy attitudes, American nationalism, global orientations, race/ethnicity, immigration status, and country of origin among emerging adult college students attending a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) in a predominately Hispanic urban center, a predominantly White institution (PWI) in Texas, and an HSI in California, both of which are located in a predominately White urban centers, and (2) identify the effect of an experimental stimulus on attitudes toward immigrants among emerging adult college students attending an HSI in a predominately Hispanic urban center. These findings will help inform policy makers on emerging adult views on immigration, as well as the experiences of immigrants within differing receiving contexts in the U.S. Findings will also help inform university-level programs targeted to improve immigrant student mental health and academic outcomes.





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