Wendy de los Reyes, PhD
Community & Developmental Psychologist
My program of research, which takes an asset-based approach to studying the experiences U.S. immigrants, is informed by ecological and developmental frameworks, as well as community-based participatory research methods. My two lines of research focus on:
1) Examining the healthy development of immigrant-origin children and adolescents, with an emphasis on youth sociopolitical development, and 2) Exploring the adaptation and wellbeing of immigrant and refugee adults.
Wendy is currently a T32 Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Developmental Psychology at the University of Michigan. She received her Ph.D. in Community Psychology from DePaul University in 2023. Prior to starting her PhD, she served as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Florida Campus Compact, held an internship with the Florida Department of Children and Families in the Office of Refugee Services, and worked with a series of nonprofits in her previous residence of Nashville, TN. She began her professional work with immigrant and refugee communities while pursuing her M.S.Ed. in Community and Social Change at the University of Miami (UM); obtaining this degree in 2016. She also received her B.S.Ed. in Human and Social Development (community development concentration) and Psychology from UM in 2013.
Wendy has worked on a number of research projects surrounding the immigrant and refugee experience, from issues pertaining the employment and health of adults to youth development. While in Chicago, she has collaborated with the Rohingya Culture Center, RefugeeOne, the Coalition of Immigrant Mental Health, the DePaul Migration Collaborative, and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership. Currently, she is leading a research project on the sociopolitical development of immigrant-origin Latinx youth.
Much of Wendy's work is contextualized by her identity as an immigrant, a Latina, and a first-generation college student. She migrated to the U.S. from Cuba at the age of 6, and grew up in a diverse immigrant community in Miami, Florida. She is a native Spanish and English speaker and has working knowledge of French and Portuguese.
Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology
Building a home in Chicago: Integration and mental
health in a Rohingya refugee community
Objective: Since 2010, approximately 1,000–1,500 Rohingya refugees have resettled in Chicago, Illinois, but
there is limited literature on their postresettlement experiences. This study explored the relationship between
integration (economic, linguistic, navigational, psychological, and social) and psychological distress among
the Rohingya community in Chicago, and how it relates to age and gender. Method: This studywas conducted
in collaborationwith theRohingya CulturalCenter in 2019. The survey was verbally administered to Rohingya
community members (N = 308;Mage = 37.03; 52%men). A χ2 test of independence was used to assess gender
differences in employment status. A Generalized Wilcoxon Test was conducted to compare differences in
integration and psychological distress among men and women. Multiple γ generalized regression analysis was
used to examine psychological distress as the outcome, predicted by integration, age, and gender. Results:
Findings showed that men had higher levels of involvement in the labor force than women, as well as higher
levels of linguistic integration. Analyses also revealed that women and older participants were more likely to
experience psychological distress. Additionally, higher psychological and navigational integration were
associated with lower psychological distress. In contrast, lower social integration was significantly associated
with lower psychological distress. Conclusion: This study points to the importance of a more nuanced
approach to integration, given within-group variability along integration dimensions. Community-level
interventions should consider the diverse needs of refugees, particularly those ofwomen and older adults.More
research is needed to understand these experiences longitudinally and qualitatively.