As many as 100 million people in the world today have migrated to other countries as a result of war, poverty or just the dream of a better life.

As the number of immigrants has increased, so has controversy about immigration policies.

The debate often centers on economic issues, overlooking the psychological concerns of those adjusting to a new culture. Feelings of loss, culture shock, separation from family and language difficulties can all contribute to distress.

For successful acculturation, researchers have found, immigrants must integrate their culture of origin with that of their new home.

Adapted from the Encyclopedia of Psychology

Undocumented Americans

What is it like to grow up as an undocumented youth in America? In "Undocumented Americans," three undocumented youth who arrived as young children — Jong-Min, Pedro and Silvia — share their stories of how they are fighting hard to achieve their piece of the American dream.

Working with Immigrant-Origin Clients 

Download this booklet (PDF, 460KB) designed for mental health professionals who work with immigrant-origin clients. This publication provides an overview of the U.S. immigrant population, the major mental health challenges they face and the barriers that impede their access to mental health services. Mental health providers are offered information on the treatment considerations they must take into account when providing services, best practices in assessment and diagnosis and a set of principles to apply to provide effective mental health services.

Psychological Issues of Immigration

  • Crossroads

    This report describes the diverse population of immigrants and addresses the psychological experience of immigration, focusing on factors that impede and facilitate adjustment.

  • Psychology of Immigration 101

    Information on the mental health needs of immigrants in the United States for mental health professionals, educators, advocates, service providers and members of the public.

  • Immigration nation

    Six common pitfalls to avoid when conducting research and designing interventions for recent transplants to the United States.

  • Immigration

Getting Help

  • The Road to Resilience

    Learn how to develop and use a personal strategy for enhancing resilience despite challenging life experiences.


Related APA Publications

APA Offices and Programs

  • Office of Ethnic Minority Affairs

    The office seeks to increase scientific understanding of how psychology pertains to race, ethnicity and culture.

  • Office of International Affairs

    The Office of International Affairs serves as APA’s touch point for international information and initiatives within APA. It leads outreach with APA’s international members and affiliates, and coordinates APA’s participation in international venues.