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Investigating Health Self-management Among Different Generation Immigrant College Students with Depression

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNISA,volume 11420)


Digital tools for health hold a lot of promise in terms of empowering individuals to take control over their health and improving access to care. This may be especially critical for marginalized individuals, such as immigrant college students, and those who face stigmatizing conditions, such as depression. However, research is limited on how these tools fit into users’ existing practices around health management. In order to address this gap, we first investigate existing practices by focusing on a specific population: college students with depression ranging from immigrant generation 1 to 2.5. This group is important to study as they are at an increased risk for depression but may be less likely to access traditional treatment. We present results about their practices around health self-tracking and digital tools specific to depression management. Based on a survey of 83 participants, we found that although students with depression across these various immigrant generations engage in health self-tracking (94%), few track mental health indicators and most do not use mobile apps (81.9%) or other online resources (86.7%) to help with their depression. Those that do use apps and online resources offer insights into their depression management needs.


  • Mental health
  • Depression
  • mHealth
  • Mobile app
  • Self-tracking
  • Self-management
  • Digital tools
  • College student
  • Immigrants

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-15742-5_20
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Fig. 1.
Fig. 2.


  1. 1.

    Immigrant generation status:

    1 = moved to U.S. after age 17

    1.25 = moved to U.S. between ages 13–17

    1.5 = moved to U.S. between ages 6–12

    1.75 = moved to U.S. before age 6

    2 = born in U.S. and both parents born outside of U.S.

    2.5 = born in U.S. and one parent born outside of U.S. [33].

  2. 2.

    Many participants reported tracking more than one health indicator.


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We would like to thank iSchool Inclusion Institute (i3) Director Dr. Kayla Booth, Michael Depew, the 2017 cohort, our research advisor and i3 Assistant Director Dr. Elizabeth Eikey, and Team Dopamine. This work was supported by the National Center for Research Resources, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, and the NIH (UL1 TR001414). It is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.

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Dodson, J. et al. (2019). Investigating Health Self-management Among Different Generation Immigrant College Students with Depression. In: Taylor, N., Christian-Lamb, C., Martin, M., Nardi, B. (eds) Information in Contemporary Society. iConference 2019. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 11420. Springer, Cham.

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