Date of Award

May 2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Lucy Mkandawire-Valhmu

Committee Members

Julia Snethen, Alexa Anderson, Eva Silvestre


gender, healthcare access, Latina, mental health, migrant farmworkers, women's health


Latinos have an increased risk for mental health problems due to several factors, including immigration, socio-economic and cultural barriers (Espeleta et al., 2019). Besides mental health risk factors such as gender, lower education attainment, and poverty (Espeleta et al., 2019), Latina migrant farmworkers also face the demands of their domestic roles, which result in work-family conflicts and stress (Arcury et al., 2018). Furthermore, persistent stigma perpetuated primarily by poor health literacy and traditional cultural perceptions and beliefs about mental health hinders their decision to seek mental health treatment (Lopez et al., 2018). To date, there are no scholarly works published addressing the mental health needs and access to mental health care among Latina migrant farmworkers in the state of Wisconsin, nor accounts of the prevalence of mental illness within this population. Therefore, this qualitative descriptive study was conducted to understand Latina migrant farmworkers' mental health needs. Chicano, postcolonial, and Black feminist epistemologies undergirded this study. Semi-structured individual interviews collected data from thirty-four Latina migrant farm workers in Wisconsin. These data were analyzed using thematic analysis. This study revealed how uniquely mental health was conceptualized by Latina migrant farmworkers.Additionally, findings reported women's development of protective factors in resilience and capacities facing their high risk for mental ill-health. These findings allow for a critical analysis of the intersecting factors shaping Latina's mental health perceptions and healthcare-seeking behaviors. From our postcolonial feminist perspectives, Latina migrant farmworkers’ mental health needs are rooted in the legacies of colonialism expressed in the intersection of race, class, and gender. Besides filling the literature gap, this study can contribute to developing context-specific and culturally informed policies and practices to support Latina migrant farmworkers' mental health needs.

Available for download on Thursday, June 06, 2024