Emotional problems among recent immigrants and parenting status: Findings from a national longitudinal study of immigrants in Canada
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The present study examined predictors of emotional problems amongst a nationally representative cohort of recent immigrants in Canada. Specifically, the effects of parenting status were examined given the association between parenting stress and mental health. Data came from the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada (N = 7055). Participants were recruited 6-months post landing (2001-2002) and followed up at 2 and 4 years. Self-reported emotional problems over time were considered as a function of parenting status (Two Parent, Lone Parent, Divorced Non-Parent, Non-Divorced Non-Parent) and sociodemographic characteristics. Odds of emotional problems were higher among Two Parent, OR = 1.12 (1.01, 1.24), Lone Parent, OR = 2.24 (1.75, 2.88), and Divorced Non-Parent, OR = 1.30 (1.01, 1.66) immigrants compared to Non-Divorced Non-Parents. Visible minority status, female gender, low income, and refugee status were associated with elevated risk. Findings reveal that immigrant parents are at risk for emotional health problems during the post-migration period. Such challenges may be compounded by other sociodemographic risk.
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