Chuang, S. S., Esufali, T., Green, D. S., Xu, X., de Leon, K. J., Shen, C. T., Ng, A., Zhu, M., & Feng, Y. (2015, November). Chinese parental involvement with young children in four Asian countries: Confucian influence or cultural transformation? Paper to be presented at the Conference on Behavioral Research, New York, NY.
More than one of every five Canadians is an immigrant but yet there remains a paucity of research on how newcomer immigrant and refugee youths adjust and settle into their new homeland. Adolescence is a particularly vulnerable period of time as individuals undergo significant developmental transitions. Newcomers have additional challenges such as negotiating their lives within various multicultural environments and cultures. However, their adjustment and settlement experiences, especially their coping strategies, have received limited attention.
Using a national sample of 125 newcomer youths (less than five years in Canada) from five provinces (Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia), we examined the challenges and barriers, coping strategies, and the advice would they give to recently arrived newcomer youth. Youths represented 30 source countries, and were in school (middle- and high school; up to the age of 19). Focus groups were conducted by gender, with a total of 12 focus groups. Thematic analyses were used.
This study is one of the first studies to not only explore the settlement challenges but equally important the coping strategies that youths used to deal with their issues. Some examples of challenges include language barriers, making friends, and discrimination by peers, teachers, and school counselors. Coping strategies primarily focused on the self (e.g., work hard, do not be shy, avoid negative behaviours). Exploring the processes of how newcomers settled into their new lives in Canada allows us, as service providers, educators, school boards, and researchers, to better understand the needs of newcomer youths and to capitalize on the programs and services that have been seen as successful by immigrant and refugee youths. All individuals have the right to be successful in their countries and to live in peaceful and supportive environments. Unfortunately, due to racism and discrimination, ethnic minority and immigrant youths may face barriers and challenges to the desired way of life.