Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Counselor Education and Supervision

First Advisor

Joffrey Suprina, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Angiemil Pérez Peña, Ph.D.


Objective: This research examines how Cuban immigrants experience cope and adapt to the United States. Cuban immigration is associated with specific stressors related to the immigration experience and the necessary process of acculturation and assimilation. These major stressors can result in mental health concerns among Cuban immigrants; however, no studies have examined how acculturation may influence Cuban immigrants’ coping skills and resultant mental health concerns. This unique study is the first to examine the coping skills Cuban immigrants use during acculturation and the effects of these skills on Cuban immigrants’ mental health. Methods: Seventeen participants completed a semistructured interview and six participants completed a focus group interview. This study only included Cuban immigrants who immigrated within the last 10 years and who currently reside in Florida. The researcher used a phenomenological qualitative methodology approach to examine how Cuban immigrants managed the acculturation process using coping strategies. Results: Key findings revealed that Cuban immigrants who used coping skills during their first 2 years in the United States had higher levels of acculturation. Participants used coping skills related to technology, family, religion, personal coping skills, friends, career services, mental health, and English proficiency to reduce acculturation stress. Conclusion: These findings highlight how mental health counselors and educators would benefit from accessing training to recognize and provide appropriate care for disorders related to acculturative stress among Cuban immigrants.

5 Waves Cuban Immigration.pdf (1484 kB)
5 Wave of Cuban Immigration

Mental Health and Coping Strategies Figure 2 - 1-25-21.pdf (72 kB)
Mental Health and Coping Skills During Acculturation

Berry Acculutration Model 1997.pdf (453 kB)
Individual and Group Acculturation Model