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Mauricio Ortiz, Psy.D., is a 2017 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, Santa Barbara.

Dissertation Committee:

  • Salvador Treviño, Ph.D., Committee Chair
  • Cécile Lyons, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Azarm Ghareman, Ph.D., External Expert

Document Type

Dissertation

Publication Date

2017

Abstract

This study uses psychoanalytic object relations theory to understand and analyze the lived experiences of adult Mexican males which will include the psychological meaning of loss and grief resulting from immigrating into the United States. The literature review illustrates and serves as a guide to broaden the understanding of the complex psychological and emotional processes that adult Mexican immigrants experience when faced with the reality of adapting to a host-culture. Participants were interviewed through a descriptive phenomenological approach seeking a complete description of their lived immigration experiences of grief, loss, and coping. After analysis of the transcriptions, several notable themes emerged that can be divided into two main sections. The main themes in Part A indicate how participants described their experience in the United States: excitement, post-immigration fear-based living, overall positive life changes, struggling to learn a new language, adapting to new ways of living, feelings of gratitude and valuing all work opportunities. The main themes in Part B indicate how participants identified and described losses, grief, and ways they coped after immigrating: family separation, loneliness, being unable to touch or see family for years, and irreparable time loss with family. They found comfort from supporting family financially, calling or writing letters as a way to communicate, and utilizing grief as a motivator. The electronic version of the dissertation is accessible at Ohiolink ETD center http://www.ohiolink.edu/etd.

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ORCID ID: 0000-0001-9354-221X

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