Date of Award

Spring 2022

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Education, PhD


School of Educational Studies

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Eligio Martinez

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

David Drew

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Linda Perkins

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2022 Adaly R Martinez


college students, disabilities, Latino, mental health, psychiatric

Subject Categories

Higher Education Administration


This research study explored the experiences of Latina/o college students with mental health disabilities. The purpose of this study is to explore the academic and social experiences, as well as the barriers and support services that impact the retention of Latina/o students with psychiatric disabilities in the postsecondary setting. This study also explored how ethnicity shaped the unique experiences of these students. Qualitative interviews with 14 student participants were conducted in a large public institution in the United States. The theoretical frameworks used were intersectionality and DisCrit to incorporate a dual analysis of race and ability. The current findings revealed the academic and social experiences of Latina/o college students with psychiatric disabilities, including barriers encountered, interactions between faculty, as well as the most used campus resources. Additional findings include an increase of mental health awareness in college and an increase of peer support for students with mental health disabilities. Findings include a need to extend disability service offices beyond the legal compliance requirements and allow for a place to commune with other students with disabilities. It was also found that a hierarchy of stigma exists among psychiatric disabilities. In addition, vast differences were noted between K-12 and college in terms of campus climate and access to support services. Intersectionality is also discussed in terms of how it shapes the student experience. Implications for practice and recommendations for future research are also included.