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Embedded in a context: the adaptation of immigrant youth
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work, Örebro University, Sweden.
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

With rising levels of immigration comes a need to know what fosters positive adaptation for the youth growing up in a new culture of settlement.The issue is increasingly studied; however, little of the research conducted has combined a developmental with a contextual approach. The aim of this dissertation was to explore the adaptation of immigrant youth on the basis of developmental theories and models which put emphasis on setting or contextual conditions. This entailed viewing immigrant youths as developing organisms that actively interact with their environments. Further, immigrant youths were seen as embedded in multiple settings, at different levels and with different contextual features. Two of the overall research questions addressed how contextual features of the settings in which the youth are embedded were related to adaptation. Results from all three studies combined to show that the contextual feature of a setting is not of prime or sole importance for the adaptation of immigrant youth, and that the contextual feature of SES diversity is of greater importance than theethnic compositions of settings. The next two overall research questions addressed how the linkage between settings was related to adaptation. The results indicated that adaptation is not always setting specific and that what is happening in one setting can be related to adaptation in anothersetting. Further, it was found that the cultural distance between settings is related to adaption, but that contextual factors affect this relationship. Overall, the results of the dissertation suggests that the adaptation of immigrant youth is a complex matter that is explained better by interaction and indirect effects than by main and direct effects. This highlights the importance of taking all settings in which the immigrant youths are embedded into account and to account for how the settings interact to understand the factors that foster and hinder positive adaptation of immigrant youth.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitet , 2012. , 78 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Psychology, ISSN 1651-1328 ; 25
Keyword [en]
immigrant youth, adaptation, development, settings, contextual features, linkage
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-24172ISBN: 978-91-7668-883-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-24172DiVA: diva2:542224
Public defence
2012-09-28, Hörsal B, Billbergska huset, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

The article "Homophily in friendship networks of immigrant and nonimmigrantyouth: Does context matter?" in the list of studies is published electronically as "Peer selection and influence of delinquent behavior of immigrant and nonimmigrant youths: does context matter?"

Available from: 2012-07-30 Created: 2012-07-30 Last updated: 2015-11-11Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. In- and out-of-school peer groups of immigrant youths
Open this publication in new window or tab >>In- and out-of-school peer groups of immigrant youths
2011 (English)In: European Journal of Developmental Psychology, ISSN 1740-5629, E-ISSN 1740-5610, Vol. 8, no 4, 490-507 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Multiethnic societies typically aim to have immigrant and native youths mix and be friends, preferably in all contexts in which they spend time. Schools and neighbourhoods are the two settings where youths spend the most time with peers during adolescence. The present study explored the in- and out-of-school peer groups of 174 immigrant junior high school pupils (Mean age = 14.39) who attended an integrated school but lived in a segregated neighbourhood. A person-oriented approach was used and cluster analyses were conducted both within and across the two settings. The results show that youths mostly have the same kind of friendship formations in both settings, regardless of the ethnic composition of each setting. In terms of adaptation, the results consistently show that for boys, having only immigrant friends is related to problematic adaptation in both settings. No relationship between peer formations and adaptation was found for girls. The study highlights the importance of considering gender and viewing youths as embedded in systems of multiple settings, in order to achieve true integration.

Keyword
Immigrant youths, Peer groups, In-school and out-of-school adaptation
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-22320 (URN)10.1080/17405629.2011.559804 (DOI)000299787600007 ()
Available from: 2012-04-02 Created: 2012-04-02 Last updated: 2015-02-20Bibliographically approved
2. Peer selection and influence of delinquent behavior of immigrant and nonimmigrant youths: does context matter?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Peer selection and influence of delinquent behavior of immigrant and nonimmigrant youths: does context matter?
2012 (English)In: International Journal of Behavioral Development, ISSN 0165-0254, E-ISSN 1464-0651, Vol. 36, no 3, 178-185 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study examines selection and influence related to delinquent behaviors of immigrant and nonimmigrant adolescents attending three majority-immigrant schools (54% to 65.2% immigrant) and four minority-immigrant schools (11.1% to 25.1% immigrant) in one community. The sample included 1,169 youths (50.4% male; 24.2% immigrant) initially between the ages of 12 and 16 years (M =13.92, SD = 0.85). Results showed that immigrant and nonimmigrant adolescents were similar to their peers on delinquent behaviors, and peer selection and social influence operated in a complementary manner to explain this similarity. The processes did not differ between immigrants and nonimmigrants or between school contexts, suggesting that immigrants do not differ from nonimmigrants on either the prevalence or the processes behind delinquency.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2012
Keyword
adolescence; delinquency; friendship selection; immigrant and nonimmigrant youth; peer influence
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-24483 (URN)10.1177/0165025411434652 (DOI)000304700400002 ()2-s2.0-84861819740 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2012-08-16 Created: 2012-08-16 Last updated: 2017-03-27Bibliographically approved
3. School as a safe haven in disadvantaged neighborhoods
Open this publication in new window or tab >>School as a safe haven in disadvantaged neighborhoods
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

We proposed that for adolescents living in disadvantaged neighborhoods schools environments could create a contrast to the out-of-school settings. We proposed two contrast effects, in which experiences that are better than expected are perceived as even better. First, we hypothesized that adolescents in disadvantaged neighborhoods would perceive their schools as more open to their influence than youths in advantaged neighborhoods, due to the contrast with the typical home environments in these neighborhoods. Second, compared with adolescents in advantaged neighborhoods, we expected adolescents in disadvantaged neighborhoods to perceive their schools as secure and safe due to the contrast they would make to their more threatening and dangerous neighborhoods. Because these contrast effects, we predicted that youths in disadvantaged neighborhoods would perceive their school as safe havens to a higher extent than other youths. We tested the idea using a sample of 1,390 adolescents living in disadvantaged and advantaged neighborhoods (Mage = 14.34, SD = 1.01). Both contrast effects were supported at the neighborhood level. Compared with adolescents in advantaged neighborhoods, those in disadvantaged neighborhoods perceived their schools as allowing more student influence and as equally safe. Adolescents in disadvantaged neighborhoods also perceived their schools as safe havens more than adolescents from advantaged neighborhoods. The results were significant independent of immigrant status, but they were more salient for immigrant adolescents in these neighborhoods. In conclusion, for adolescents in disadvantaged neighborhoods, a school setting perceived as safe and open to influence can function as a contrast to the out-of-school settings.

Keyword
school, neighborhood, adolescents, influence, safety, contrast effects
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-26380 (URN)
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2012-11-07 Created: 2012-11-07 Last updated: 2015-02-20Bibliographically approved

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