Is the Influence of Social Support on Mental Health the Same for Immigrants and Non-Immigrants?
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The association between social support and mental health across immigrant groups were examined in this study. A population-based sample was extracted from a 2009/10 Canadian community health survey. Self-reported mood or anxiety disorders and a standardized social support scale were used as outcome and explanatory variables. The association between these variables was measured using logistic regression controlling for sex, age, marital status, education, self-rated health and perceived stress. Stratified analyses were performed to test if the strength of association differed by immigrant status. In comparison with individuals who had moderate levels of social support, individuals with low social support had higher odds of reporting mental disorders and this association appeared strongest among recent immigrants. Using the same comparison group, individuals with high social support had lower odds of reporting mental disorders and this association appeared stronger among long-term immigrants. Findings were discussed within the context of immigration stress and acculturation strategies.
KeywordsSocial support Mental health Immigrants Stress
The author wishes to acknowledge the guidance and assistance of Dr. Mieke Koehoorn in the preparation of this manuscript.
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