Date of Award

2002

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Porter, James,

Keywords

Psychology, Clinical.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Research with adolescent migrants suggests that they may be at greater risk of experiencing mental health difficulties and intergenerational conflict than their non-immigrant peers. However, few studies have focused on factors that are associated with the mental health status and family relationships of migrant youth. Using the acculturation framework proposed by Berry (1999), the present study examined the impact of acculturation strategy, demographic factors, and migration-related variables on the psychological adjustment and family relationships of 152 first generation Chinese immigrant youth. Twenty-eight second generation Chinese immigrant youth and 36 third and later generation Canadian youth served as comparisons. Participants completed a demographic questionnaire, psychological adjustment measures, and family relationship measures. The Chinese immigrant youth also completed two acculturation measures. The reliability and validity of the adjustment and family relationship measures for the Chinese youth were assessed. Only measures with adequate psychometric properties were employed in the analyses. The first generation group overwhelmingly endorsed integration and rejected the other acculturation strategies. There was stronger support for the acculturation attitude of separation than assimilation in the first generation group. Differences in the level of support for assimilation were found based on gender and on the ethnic composition of the neighborhood the participants resided in. Results revealed generational differences in psychological adjustment, with better adjustment reported by the third or later generation group than by the first generation group. Factors found to be associated with greater mental health difficulties among the first generation group included: (1) adoption of an acculturation strategy other than integration; (2) less self-confidence in English; and (3) feeling more negative about the move to Canada. Greater family conflict was reported by those first generation adolescents who had adopted a different acculturation strategy than their parents as compared to those adolescents who had adopted the same acculturation strategy as their parents. Explanations for these findings and the implications of the present study are discussed. Limitation and suggestions for future research are provided.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2002 .S53. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 63-04, Section: B, page: 2075. Adviser: James Porter. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2002.

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