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Psychosocial adaptation of adolescent migrants in a Swiss community survey


Steinhausen, H C; Bearth-Carrari, C; Winkler Metzke, C (2009). Psychosocial adaptation of adolescent migrants in a Swiss community survey. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 44(4):308-316.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to compare psychosocial adaptation in adolescent (first generation) migrants, double-citizens (mainly second generation with one migrant parent), and native Swiss, and to compare migrants from various European regions. METHOD: Data from a community survey were based on 1,239 participants (mean age 13.8, SD = 1.6 years) with 996 natives, 55 double-citizens, and 188 migrants. The adolescents completed the youth self-report measuring emotional and behavioural problems, and various questionnaires addressing life events, personality variables, perceived parental behaviour (PPB), family functioning, school environment, and social network. RESULTS: Adolescent migrants had significantly higher scores for internalizing and externalizing problems. There was a pattern of various unfavourable psychosocial features including life events, coping, self-related cognitions, and PPB that was more common among adolescent migrants than natives. Double-citizens were similar to natives in all domains. Young adolescents from South and South-East Europe differed from natives in terms of more unfavourable psychosocial features. Migrant status was best predicted by adverse psychosocial features rather than emotional and behavioural problems. CONCLUSION: There is some indication that certain migrant adolescents are at risk of psychosocial mal-adaptation. Obviously, ethnic origin is an important moderator.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to compare psychosocial adaptation in adolescent (first generation) migrants, double-citizens (mainly second generation with one migrant parent), and native Swiss, and to compare migrants from various European regions. METHOD: Data from a community survey were based on 1,239 participants (mean age 13.8, SD = 1.6 years) with 996 natives, 55 double-citizens, and 188 migrants. The adolescents completed the youth self-report measuring emotional and behavioural problems, and various questionnaires addressing life events, personality variables, perceived parental behaviour (PPB), family functioning, school environment, and social network. RESULTS: Adolescent migrants had significantly higher scores for internalizing and externalizing problems. There was a pattern of various unfavourable psychosocial features including life events, coping, self-related cognitions, and PPB that was more common among adolescent migrants than natives. Double-citizens were similar to natives in all domains. Young adolescents from South and South-East Europe differed from natives in terms of more unfavourable psychosocial features. Migrant status was best predicted by adverse psychosocial features rather than emotional and behavioural problems. CONCLUSION: There is some indication that certain migrant adolescents are at risk of psychosocial mal-adaptation. Obviously, ethnic origin is an important moderator.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Center for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:1 April 2009
Deposited On:12 Dec 2008 09:56
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:37
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0933-7954
Additional Information:SpringerLink – Full text article
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00127-008-0437-7
PubMed ID:18818857

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