Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 1121–1129 | Cite as

Acculturation, Gender, and Mental Health of Southeast Asian Immigrant Youth in Canada

  • Carla T. Hilario
  • Dzung X. Vo
  • Joy L. Johnson
  • Elizabeth M. Saewyc
Original Paper


The relationships between mental health, protective factors and acculturation among Southeast Asian youth were examined in this study using a gender-based analysis. Population-based data from the 2008 British Columbia Adolescent Health Survey were used to examine differences in extreme stress and despair by acculturation. Associations between emotional distress and hypothesized protective factors were examined using logistic regression. Stratified analyses were performed to assess gender-related differences. Recent immigrant youth reported higher odds of emotional distress. Family connectedness and school connectedness were linked to lower odds of extreme stress and despair among girls. Family connectedness was associated with lower odds of extreme stress and despair among boys. Higher cultural connectedness was associated with lower odds of despair among boys but with higher odds of extreme stress among girls. Findings are discussed in relation to acculturation and gender-based patterns in protective factors for mental health among Southeast Asian immigrant youth.


Mental health Acculturation Gender Protective factors Southeast Asian youth 



The authors would like to thank the reviewers for their thoughtful feedback.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carla T. Hilario
    • 1
  • Dzung X. Vo
    • 2
  • Joy L. Johnson
    • 1
  • Elizabeth M. Saewyc
    • 3
  1. 1.School of NursingUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Division of Adolescent Health and MedicineUniversity of British Columbia and BC Children’s HospitalVancouverCanada
  3. 3.McCreary Centre Society, Division of Adolescent Health and Medicine, and School of NursingUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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