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Identity-Related Factors Affecting the Mental Health of African Immigrant Youth Living in Canada

  • Omolola OlawoEmail author
  • Beryl Pilkington
  • Nazilla Khanlou
Original Article
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Abstract

In countries like Canada with significant immigrant populations, immigrant youth can have various experiences that impact their identity and mental health outcomes. This paper presents findings from a study that examined the perceptions of mental health among African immigrant youth living in Canada and the factors that affect their mental health outcomes, including identity-related factors. An interpretive description design was used and eight participants were recruited. Data were gathered through in-person and phone interviews. The paper focuses on the migration factors that affect African immigrant youths’ mental health. Three subthemes emerged from participants’ experiences: (a) social support; (b) discrimination and othering; and (c) identity and cultural shock. Using critical theory and intersectionality, the study showed that African immigrant youths’ identity and mental health were influenced by deeper socio-political and historical factors.

Keywords

Mental health African immigrant youth Cultural identity Intersectionality Critical theory Othering 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethics approval for the study was obtained through the University’s Office of Research Ethics. Informed consent was obtained from each participant, and process consent was utilized throughout interviews. Participants were offered a $10 cash gift as a token of appreciation for taking part in the study. All participants were provided pseudonyms to protect their identity.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Graduate Studies-NursingYork UniversityTorontoCanada

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