Leisure Experiences and Social Support Systems of Latino Students With DACA Status


  • C. Austin Langley Davidson College
  • Gwynn M. Powell Clemson University
  • Toni Liechty University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Willaim Haller Clemson University
  • Denise Anderson Clemson University




leisure Experiences, Latino, DACA


The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of the leisure experiences of undocumented Latino young adults with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status in order to note any potential links between leisure experience and success in reaching higher education. This population faces a unique set of challenges in their transition to adulthood and their pursuit of and access to higher education. Research suggests that 3 common factors among undocumented young adults who have been successful in reaching higher education are extra-familial mentors, positive social supports, and supplementary educational programming. This study used these 3 factors and the principles of contact theory to examine leisure experiences of undocumented young adults with DACA status. Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with 7 young adults with DACA status who were enrolled in higher education. The data were transcribed verbatim and analyzed thematically. Due to the difficulty accessing this population, snowball sampling was used beginning with a volunteer database from a local Hispanic Alliance. The results support previous literature that has identified constraints this population faces when striving for higher education, as well as the capacity of populations that experience disadvantages for leisure constraint negotiation. The findings show leisure and recreational pursuits support the development of the above mentioned 3-factor support system, helpful in reaching higher education, from previous literature and document a severe drop off of both leisure and recreation participation after high school graduation. Limitations of the study and implications for practice and future research are discussed.


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