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Is childhood migration a mental health risk? Exploring health behaviors and psychosocial resources as pathways using the cross-sectional Canadian Community Health Survey

TitleIs childhood migration a mental health risk? Exploring health behaviors and psychosocial resources as pathways using the cross-sectional Canadian Community Health Survey
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsYang, F-J.
JournalSocial Science Research
Volume83
Keywordshealth behavior, immigrants, psychological distress, psychosocial resources, stress process model
Abstract

Drawing on the Stress Process Model, this study investigates the effect of early migration on health behaviors and psychosocial resources. Further, I consider whether health behaviors and psychosocial processes lead to higher psychological distress for childhood immigrants in adulthood. Cross-sectional data from the Canadian Community Health Survey-Mental Health 2012 (N = 4282) reveal that compared to adult immigrants, childhood immigrants are not only four times more likely to use drugs, but also experience greater interpersonal strain. However, health behaviors such as these contribute less to psychological distress than do psychosocial resources. Additionally, longer duration of migration is found to reduce psychological distress when controlling for age at migration, thus suggesting the migrant health literature should examine age-salient life challenges at the time of migration, instead of continuing to use duration of migration as a proxy for negative acculturation.

URLhttps://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0049089X18301625
DOI10.1016/j.ssresearch.2019.04.016