Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 20, Issue 5, pp 1499–1518 | Cite as

Immigration Status and Adolescent Life Satisfaction: An International Comparative Analysis Based on PISA 2015

  • Yipeng TangEmail author
Research Paper


In the prevailing international migration flows and the emerging trend of pursuing happiness rather than material wealth, researchers’ attention has been increasingly directed towards the life satisfaction of immigrant adolescents. Using a sample of 344,438 adolescents aged 15 years old from 49 countries/economies who participated in the 2015 wave of the programme of international student assessment, this study provides a comprehensive discussion of the relationship between immigrant status and adolescent life satisfaction (ALS). By performing a multiple linear regression analysis of each economy, this paper demonstrates the mixed effect of immigration status on ALS. By performing hierarchal linear modelling based on the pooled sample, this study asserts that although immigrant adolescents experience significantly lower life satisfaction than their native counterparts, this gap can be substantially reduced by certain school and family factors. Furthermore, with the application of propensity score matching to 13 economies with higher proportions of immigrant adolescents, this study contributes to the critical debate on the immigrant paradox by grouping and comparing the ALS gaps across generations.


Immigrant adolescent Life satisfaction International comparison PISA 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationCapital Normal UniversityBeijingChina

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