Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

Social Work

First Advisor

Christina Marsack-Topolewski, PhD, LMSW

Second Advisor

Angie Mann-Williams, PhD, LCSW

Third Advisor

Jennifer Fritz, PhD, LMSW


The purpose of this thesis is to gain a holistic view of immigrants’ experience and identity within the United States through a social work lens. This thesis is based on an extensive literature review which covers the history of immigration, immigration today, classic assimilation theory, assimilation factors, alternatives, and best practices. Findings indicated that retaining a cultural or ethnic identity can create better mental health outcomes and greater life satisfaction for immigrants. From this research, there are several implications for social workers regarding effective and culturally sensitive practices when working with adult immigrants.

Included in

Social Work Commons