A cross-sectional study of organized activity participation and emotional wellbeing among non-immigrant and immigrant-origin children in British Columbia, Canada
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Organized activity participation has been linked to children's emotional wellbeing. However, a scarcity of literature considers the role of immigrant background. This study's primary objective was to measure the association between organized activity participation and emotional wellbeing among a population-based sample of Grade 7 children in British Columbia, Canada. We also examined whether this relationship depended on immigration background. Our sample included 14,406 children (47.8% female; mean age = 12.0 years). 9,393 (65.2%) children were of non-immigrant origin (48.9% female; mean age = 12.1 years). 5,013 children (34.8%) were of immigrant origin (45.8% female; mean age = 12.0 years; 40.8% first-generation). Participants completed the Middle Years Development Instrument, a self-report survey measuring children's wellbeing and assets. We used odds ratios and the χ2 test to compare the organized activity participation of non-immigrant and immigrant-origin children. We used multiple linear regression to measure associations between participation and indicators of emotional wellbeing and assessed whether associations varied based on immigrant background, controlling for demographic factors and peer belonging. Participation in any activity was similar among non-immigrant and immigrant-origin children (OR1st-gen=1.06, p=0.37; OR2nd-gen=0.97, p=0.62). Immigrant generation status modified the relationship between participation and emotional wellbeing (χSWL 2=3.69, p=0.03; χDep 2=12.31, p<0.01). Beneficial associations between participation and both life satisfaction and depressive symptoms were observed among non-immigrant children only, although associations were small. We conclude that immigrant background modestly modified the association between organized activity participation and emotional wellbeing.