Date of Award

Spring 5-22-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Donna C. Owens


Growing data recommends dance/movement therapy as a promising approach for documented immigrant children’s mental health. I was a documented immigrant when I was 12 years old, and dance as therapy supported me emotionally and behaviorally. This paper mainly focuses on documented immigrant children with dance/movement therapy. This paper touches on various categories of refugees and undocumented immigrants, though insights into the lives of undocumented immigrants was also added to better understand the challenges they experience in general, including mental health issues. Immigrant children face challenges in every aspect of their life, such as adjusting in their new country, peer relationships, language barriers, and conflict with their family. These struggles may lead to emotional difficulties such as anxiety, depression, isolation, and low self-esteem. Overall, dance/movement therapy could be a powerful tool to support immigrant children’s mental health and behavioral difficulties. However, there is a limited amount of research about immigrant children with dance/movement therapy, therefore this literature review may act as a foundation for future studies. I found that dance/movement therapy was helpful in getting children adjusted to their new environment. Not only did dance/movement therapy help immigrant children acclimate to their new country, but it improved their overall mental and emotional well-being.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




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