Psychological adjustment and well-being in recently arriving immigrant adolescents

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Matthew Thibeault (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Julia Mendez Smith

Abstract: The purpose of this short-term longitudinal study was to examine relations between trauma exposure, acculturative stress, school belonging, and internalizing symptoms in immigrant and refugee adolescents recently arriving into the United States. Participants were students between 5th and 11th grade (N = 94) who were enrolled in an alternative public school for newly arriving youth. At two different time points, students completed an electronic screening designed to assess exposure to adverse events and factors related to adjustment into a new country. Teachers reported on social skills and problem behaviors. Results indicated that acculturative stress was related to anxiety and depression after accounting for cumulative trauma and other relevant covariates. Acculturative stress remained stable over time, and differences in trauma exposure emerged between groups of students relatively high and low in acculturative stress and school belonging. Information yielded from the screening allowed school administration and staff to identify students at risk for adjustment difficulties and informed topics for group interventions. Implications for policy and practice are discussed.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2013
Acculturation, Adjustment, Adolescents, Immigrants, Migration, Refugees
Acculturation $z United States
Immigrant youth $x Education $z United States
Immigrant youth $z United States $x Mental health
Immigrant youth $z United States $x Psychology
Immigrant youth $z United States $x Social conditions

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