Poverty, Family Process, and the Mental Health of Immigrant Children in Canada

Poverty, Family Process, and the Mental Health of Immigrant Children in Canada Objectives . This study examined the differential effects of poverty on the mental health of foreign-born children, Canadian-born children of immigrant parents, and children of nonimmigrant parents. Methods . Secondary analysis of data from a national Canadian study of children between 4 and 11 years of age was conducted. Results . Compared with their receiving-society counterparts, foreign-born children were more than twice as likely to live in poor families, but they had lower levels of emotional and behavioral problems. The effect of poverty on children's mental health among long-term immigrant and receiving-society families was indirect and primarily mediated by single-parent status, ineffective parenting, parental depression, and family dysfunction. In comparison, the mental health effect of poverty among foreign-born children could not be explained by the disadvantages that poor families often suffer. Conclusions . Poverty may represent a transient and inevitable part of the resettlement process for new immigrant families. For long-stay immigrant and receiving-society families, however, poverty probably is not part of an unfolding process; instead, it is the nadir of a cycle of disadvantage. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Journal of Public Health American Public Health Association

Poverty, Family Process, and the Mental Health of Immigrant Children in Canada

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Publisher
American Public Health Association
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 by the American Public Health Association
ISSN
0090-0036
eISSN
1541-0048
D.O.I.
10.2105/AJPH.92.2.220
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Objectives . This study examined the differential effects of poverty on the mental health of foreign-born children, Canadian-born children of immigrant parents, and children of nonimmigrant parents. Methods . Secondary analysis of data from a national Canadian study of children between 4 and 11 years of age was conducted. Results . Compared with their receiving-society counterparts, foreign-born children were more than twice as likely to live in poor families, but they had lower levels of emotional and behavioral problems. The effect of poverty on children's mental health among long-term immigrant and receiving-society families was indirect and primarily mediated by single-parent status, ineffective parenting, parental depression, and family dysfunction. In comparison, the mental health effect of poverty among foreign-born children could not be explained by the disadvantages that poor families often suffer. Conclusions . Poverty may represent a transient and inevitable part of the resettlement process for new immigrant families. For long-stay immigrant and receiving-society families, however, poverty probably is not part of an unfolding process; instead, it is the nadir of a cycle of disadvantage.

Journal

American Journal of Public HealthAmerican Public Health Association

Published: Feb 1, 2002

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