Brazilian Immigrant Adolescents: Stress and Support Identified in Ecomap Drawings

  •  Rachel Tennant    
  •  Chieh Li    
  •  Louis Kruger    
  •  Soraia Leite    


This study investigated the perceived sources of support and stress of Brazilian immigrant adolescents living in the United States. The sample was comprised of 62 Brazilian immigrant adolescents between the ages of 14 and 19 (M = 16.55, SD = 1.31). The study also explored how these individuals cope with stress and how they help their friends. Perceived sources of support and stress were assessed by Ecomap drawings and a questionnaire. Thematic and frequency analyses were conducted to identify major sources of support and stress for this group. Results revealed that the most frequently reported sources of support were exercise, sports, family members, and friends. A culture-specific source of support for the males of this group was soccer. The most commonly reported sources of stress were the difficulty and quantity of schoolwork and relationships with parents. Participants depicted ambivalent relationships in their lives through their Ecomap drawings. Family members, teachers, learning English, and jobs were perceived as sources of both support and stress. Each student’s cluster of support and stressors was also reflected in their Ecomap drawings. Participants described listening to music, spending time alone, and exercising as strategies for coping with stress. Participants help their friends to cope with distress by consoling, spending time together, and providing social support. Results from this study were distinct from those of similar studies with other populations such as immigrants from another country or Brazilians in Brazil. Implications of these findings for culturally sensitive education and student services in higher education were discussed.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1925-4741
  • ISSN(Online): 1925-475X
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: quarterly

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