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Concerns about COVID-19 among undocumented women in justice-involved families

Caitlin Cavanagh (School of Criminal Justice, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA)
Amanda Osuna (School of Criminal Justice, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA)
Roberta Liggett-O'Malley (School of Criminal Justice, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA)
Marina Henke (School of Criminal Justice, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA)
Elizabeth Cauffman (Department of Psychological Science, University of California, San Diego, California, USA)

International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care

ISSN: 1747-9894

Article publication date: 22 December 2022

9

Abstract

Purpose

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated chronic disparities in income, employment and health-care access. Yet, little is known about how various sources of economic and emotional strain (i.e. caregiving, justice system involvement and documentation status) intersect during the pandemic. The purpose of this study is to understand how undocumented women in justice-involved families experienced the pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

Surveys of 221 mothers of justice-involved youth examined differences between documented and undocumented parents in COVID-19 testing, health and economic concerns related to the pandemic and generalized anxiety.

Findings

The results revealed undocumented women were less likely to receive COVID-19 testing than documented women, despite no difference between the two groups in suspicion that they may have contracted the virus. Also, undocumented women were more concerned than documented women about losing a job, not having enough food, not having enough non-food supplies, not having access to basic utilities or internet, losing their usual childcare services and losing a loved one to COVID-19.

Originality/value

The findings highlight the vulnerability of justice-involved families who have an undocumented member and implications for long-term solutions to address these disparities are discussed.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

MSU College of Social Science.

Author’s Note: The Crossroads Mothers Study is supported by funding from the American Psychology-Law Society and Michigan State University College of Social Science. All study participants provided informed consent, via processes approved by the IRB. The authors are grateful to the many individuals responsible for the data collection and preparation. The authors have no known conflicts of interest to disclose.

This manuscript is based on data from the Crossroads Mothers Study, a longitudinal study of the mothers of justice-involved youth. The findings reported in this manuscript have not been presented elsewhere and have not been published previously. CC conceptualized the study, analyzed the data and wrote the manuscript. RLO aided in writing the manuscript. AO and MH led data collection efforts and aided in writing the manuscript. EC aided in study conceptualization and writing the manuscript.

Citation

Cavanagh, C., Osuna, A., Liggett-O'Malley, R., Henke, M. and Cauffman, E. (2022), "Concerns about COVID-19 among undocumented women in justice-involved families", International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMHSC-09-2021-0082

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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