Trauma and Resilience Among Migrant Children from Mexico and the Northern Triangle Eroute to the United States

Georgina Sanchez-Garcia, University of Texas at El Paso


Children who experience the phenomenon of migration from the Northern Triangle region and Mexico en route to the United States face pressing problems with psychosocial consequences that ostensibly affect them and are reflected in the violation of their human rights. We studied trauma and resilience among migrant children from Mexico and the Northern Triangle nations –Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras– who are uprooted from their communities to undertake the dangerous overland journey to the United States (Lusk & Sanchez-Garcia, 2021; Rodriguez, 2020; UNICEF, 2018). The experience of such migration for children can be fraught with hardship, and it may have a severe adverse impact on child well-being with long-term consequences on their developmental milestones and psychological health (Uddin et al., 2021; Bartlett & Sacks, 2019). We explored factors that protect migrant children and promote their resiliency and well-being through inductive coding and thematic analysis. The research leveraged the phenomenological multi-method approach to explore the experience of migrating children from their own perspectives and voice. First, we addressed the qualitative component through the risk and resilience model (Jenson and Fraser, 2016) and the socio-ecological model (Ungar, 2012; Bronfenbrenner, 1994) to explain the thematic analysis of interviews and drawings. Second, in a psychosocial assessment component, we used descriptive statistics to report the results of the demographic questionnaire and standardized measures of trauma and resilience (Llistosella et al., 2019; Bustos et al., 2009). The core of this research on child migration was grounded in children's right to be protected and have their opinions heard and considered, as established by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNICEF, 2019).

Subject Area

Health sciences|Psychology|Sociology

Recommended Citation

Sanchez-Garcia, Georgina, "Trauma and Resilience Among Migrant Children from Mexico and the Northern Triangle Eroute to the United States" (2022). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI29324474.