Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Psy.D. Doctor of Clinical Psychology

Academic Discipline


First Advisor

Lisa Costas, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Marcia Pita, Ph.D.


This critical literature review (CRP) project explores the consequences of child-parent separation by deportation laws. Considering the number of Latinx immigrant families immigrating to the United States, this review focused on how the unexpected separation by deportation impacted immigrant families and how these separations affect their children’s development, attachment style, and overall well-being. The review explored the short- and long-term consequences for immigrant children and their families, including children who are U.S.-born and remain in the country without their parents. Results from the review indicate an extensive and significant impact on attachment style and overall developmental impairments. The unexpected separation of immigrant children from their parents appears to be associated with avoidant attachment styles, anxious-ambivalent attachment styles, low- performance at school, medical conditions, relational problems, mental health conditions, and family disintegration. Findings are presented in terms of theoretical and practical implications and directions for future investigations. Recommendations for clinicians are also included based on the review of the literature.