Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Education and Human Services


Family Science and Human Development

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Kathryn Herr

Committee Member

Sara Goldstein

Committee Member

Bradley Forenza


This qualitative interview study focuses on the challenges and barriers of 1.5 generations of undocumented young adults with their liminal status in carving their present and curating their future lives in the United States. The study focuses on how these 1.5 young emerging adults navigate their lives to pursue their life goals with the limitations attached to their impermanence status. The study used a qualitative in-depth, and constant comparative methodology to approach empirical findings. In addition, the life-course theory was utilized as a theoretical framework to study different milestones in the lives of these 1.5 undocumented young adults (Elder,1998). The findings suggest that these young adults have persevered and navigated the severe challenges of pursuing their dreams of higher education but see no hope for their future in the United States due to their liminal status. As a result, there are closed doors for careers and continuing higher education, along with unique challenges to foster romantic and social relationships.

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