Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Immigrant youth better off if still attached to their ethnic culture, largest-ever international study finds

18.11.2005


Immigrant youth are better able to handle discrimination, have fewer emotional problems, and get along better in school and in the community when they remain strongly attached to their own ethnic culture rather than try to melt into a national culture, a Queen’s University-based international psychological study has found. They do even better when they have a double attachment to both the national society and to their heritage culture.



Encompassing more than 5,000 interviews with immigrant youth in 13 countries, the study is the world’s most exhaustive examination of how the children of first-generation immigrants adapt in a new culture. Immigrant Youth In Cultural Transition: Acculturation, Identity and Adaptation Across National Contexts, will be published early next year by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Amongst its comprehensive findings, the study concludes that a strong ethnic identity may have a “buffering effect” against discrimination – “Adolescents who are confident in their own ethnicity and proud of their ethnic group may be better able to deal constructively with discrimination, for example, by regarding it as the problem of the perpetrator or by taking proactive steps to combat it.”


An unexpected finding is that immigrant youth who try to blend in actually have more problems.

“The big surprise here is that youth don’t do as well either psychologically or socially if they try to assimilate,” says Dr. John Berry.

The Queen’s psychology professor emeritus is the lead author of the 10-year study which looks at the psychological, social and academic success of participants while considering a plethora of variables including: perceived discrimination, length of residence, religion, gender, age, language proficiency, neighbourhood composition, actual diversity in the country of settlement, and diversity policy in that country.

The result is the broadest view to date of how immigrant youth adapt to and succeed in the home countries chosen by their parents. The study also revealed:

  • Immigrant youth are as well adapted as the resident youth of each country.
  • The largest group of immigrant youth eventually adapt by becoming bi-cultural, rather than assimilated – 36 per cent of immigrant youth were comfortable and involved in both their ethnic and national cultures.
  • 23 per cent are primarily oriented toward their ethnic culture. While adolescents with this profile adapt well psychologically, they view themselves as separate from the national culture and are less involved in the larger society.
  • Participants who try to assimilate have poorer self-esteem, do not do as well in school and exhibit more anti-social behaviour than those who integrate. Nineteen per cent of the youth fit this profile, indicating that immigrant adolescents generally reject total assimilation as a strategy for adapting.
  • Immigrant youth fare better in countries that have a strategy of promoting diversity than they do in countries that do not specifically support diversity.

The study urges governments to abandon public policies that stress assimilation and adopt those which actively promote diversity and an acceptance of ethnic cultures.

“Countries can help their new immigrants adapt by actively supporting diversity in health care, broadcasting, education – in all facets of society,” says Dr. Berry who notes that Canada is a world leader in promoting diversity.

Participants came from the three kinds of countries that receive immigrants: settler countries (Australia, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, and the U.S.), formerly colonizing countries (France, Germany, Netherlands and the U.K.), and countries that have more recently been receiving immigrants (Norway, Sweden, Finland and Portugal).

Contact:

Sarah Withrow 613.533.3280, sarah.withrow@queensu.ca or Lorinda Peterson 613-533-3234, lorinda.peterson@queensu.ca, Queen’s News & Media Services

Attention broadcasters: Queen’s now has facilities to provide broadcast quality audio and video feeds. For television interviews, we can provide a live, real-time double ender from Kingston fibre optic cable and broadcast quality radio transmissions from our on-campus studio. Please call for details.

Sarah Withrow | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.queensu.ca

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersensitive through quantum entanglement

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy under real ambient pressure conditions

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Mice provide insight into genetics of autism spectrum disorders

28.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>