Researcher ORCID Identifier

Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Analysis

Reader 1

Char Miller

Reader 2

Maria-Elena de Trinidad Young

Reader 3

Karina Corona

Rights Information

2021 Vivianna I Plancarte


This study expands the COVID-19 and Latino Immigrants in Rural California (CLIMA) Study at UC Merced by exploring how the mental health of young adult Latinos in rural CA has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and comparing the experiences of US-born Latinos to those of Latino immigrants to investigate an Immigrant Health Paradox. A convergent mixed methods design was first employed whereby qualitative and quantitative data was collected concurrently, and then merged. Then, the data collected from young adult Latinos was compared to that from Latino immigrants collected by CLIMA Study to explore the Immigrant Health Paradox in the context of the pandemic. Stressors that young adult, US-born Latinos often faced included: job insecurity, financial challenges, food insecurity, decreased social interaction, fear of COVID-19, challenges with providing or receiving familial support, and challenges with online schooling. The older adult, immigrant participants faced many of the same stressors, however, the data suggest they may have also faced increased responsibilities in regards to childcare, more instances of workplace discrimination, and faced acculturative stress more directly. Study findings may be used by researchers, advocate, policy makers, and like to reduce health disparities among low-income people of color and rural populations. Future studies seeking to conduct a more robust investigation of Latino and Immigrant ‘Mental’ Health Paradoxes should recruit a larger sample, include populations at several different levels of acculturation (e.g., whites, Latino immigrants, second-generation Latinos, etc.), and utilize a bi-directional measure of acculturation.