Date Awarded

Summer 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




Victoria A Foster

Committee Member

Charles R McAdams III

Committee Member

Tracy L Cross


The proposed study aims to capture the unique experiences surrounding grief of first-generation Indian-American undergraduate students. Tummala-Narra (2013) defines immigrants as having been raised in the country of origin and migrating to the United States in late adolescence or adulthood and first-generation as those born in the United States or arrived to the United States as young children. Research has shown that bereavement can have profound emotional health consequences for those surviving a loss (W. Stroebe & Stroebe, 1987). Additional components such as loss of expectations, traditions, and culture (Price, 2011) may contribute to mental health challenges for the South Asian population that are often overlooked across the immigrant and first-generations (Tummala-Narra, 2013). The United States Census Bureau (2010 ) stated that the total U.S. population on April 1, 2010 was 308.7 million, out of which 14.7 million or 4.8 percent were Asian. South Asians (i.e., people from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal) were the fastest growing subgroup among the Asian population. (United States Census Bureau, 2007). Trends in Education shifted for Asians over time. In 1988, at least 38% of Asians had earned at least a bachelor’s degree, whereas in 2015, 54% of Asians who were 25 years old or older had a bachelor’s degree or higher (Ryan & Bauman, 2016) implying that there is a continued increase in the Asian undergraduate student population. Content includes a description of immigrant demographics, reasons for immigration, impact of immigration to the United States on family dynamics across generations, mental health stigma for this population, a review of the literature, gaps in the literature, theoretical foundation for the proposed study, purpose and relevance of the study, and future implications of this research.



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