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Acculturation orientations and mental health when facing post-migration stress: Differences between unaccompanied and accompanied male Middle Eastern refugee adolescents, first- and second-generation immigrant and native peers in Germany


EL-Awad, Usama; Fathi, Atefeh; Vasileva, Mira; Petermann, Franz; Reinelt, Tilman (2021). Acculturation orientations and mental health when facing post-migration stress: Differences between unaccompanied and accompanied male Middle Eastern refugee adolescents, first- and second-generation immigrant and native peers in Germany. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 82:232-246.

Abstract

Objective
This study examined the mental health of Middle Eastern male unaccompanied refugee adolescents in Germany in relation to the mental health of accompanied refugee peers, first- and second-generation immigrant and native peers. In particular, it was investigated whether differences in the mental health of unaccompanied and accompanied refugees and immigrant peers were related to differences in the perception of post-migration stress, and whether this association changed with different acculturation orientations.

Method
In a cross-sectional study, 193 adolescents (Mage = 18.1 years, SD = 1.74 years; nrefugees = 74, nmigrants = 59, nnatives = 60) completed self-report measures of mental health, trauma, acculturation styles, and post-migration stress.

Results
Analyses of variance revealed that unaccompanied refugees suffered most from internalizing and trauma symptoms, while accompanied peers, first- and second-generation immigrant and native adolescents did not differ significantly in internalizing symptoms. Hierarchical regression analysis demonstrated that more integrated adolescents were generally associated with lower internalizing symptoms and integration also buffered against detrimental effects of post-migration stressors. Marginalized adolescents showed more internalizing symptoms, especially in the lights of more post-migration stress. Both assimilation and separation had no direct effects on internalizing symptoms. However, assimilation buffered against detrimental effects of post-migration stress on internalizing symptoms, whereas separation amplified these effects.

Conclusion
An involvement in host society and an orientation towards the host culture fosters mental health of acculturating Middle Eastern adolescents in Germany when post-migration stress is perceived, particularly for unaccompanied refugee adolescents. Moreover, additionally maintaining the culture of origin seems to be in general most beneficial.

Abstract

Objective
This study examined the mental health of Middle Eastern male unaccompanied refugee adolescents in Germany in relation to the mental health of accompanied refugee peers, first- and second-generation immigrant and native peers. In particular, it was investigated whether differences in the mental health of unaccompanied and accompanied refugees and immigrant peers were related to differences in the perception of post-migration stress, and whether this association changed with different acculturation orientations.

Method
In a cross-sectional study, 193 adolescents (Mage = 18.1 years, SD = 1.74 years; nrefugees = 74, nmigrants = 59, nnatives = 60) completed self-report measures of mental health, trauma, acculturation styles, and post-migration stress.

Results
Analyses of variance revealed that unaccompanied refugees suffered most from internalizing and trauma symptoms, while accompanied peers, first- and second-generation immigrant and native adolescents did not differ significantly in internalizing symptoms. Hierarchical regression analysis demonstrated that more integrated adolescents were generally associated with lower internalizing symptoms and integration also buffered against detrimental effects of post-migration stressors. Marginalized adolescents showed more internalizing symptoms, especially in the lights of more post-migration stress. Both assimilation and separation had no direct effects on internalizing symptoms. However, assimilation buffered against detrimental effects of post-migration stress on internalizing symptoms, whereas separation amplified these effects.

Conclusion
An involvement in host society and an orientation towards the host culture fosters mental health of acculturating Middle Eastern adolescents in Germany when post-migration stress is perceived, particularly for unaccompanied refugee adolescents. Moreover, additionally maintaining the culture of origin seems to be in general most beneficial.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neonatology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Business and International Management
Social Sciences & Humanities > Social Psychology
Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Political Science
Uncontrolled Keywords:Sociology and Political Science, Social Psychology, Business and International Management Refugee adolescents, Immigrant adolescents, Mental health, Trauma, Acculturation, Stress
Language:English
Date:1 May 2021
Deposited On:07 Jan 2022 15:41
Last Modified:26 Jun 2024 01:48
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0147-1767
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2021.04.002