Emotional and Behavioral Problems in Migrant Children and Adolescents in American Countries: A Systematic Review
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The present review postulates the current mental health status in migrant children and adolescents in the North American continent. 35 studies published from 2009 to 2013 chosen from a systematic literature research were included. Almost all studies were conducted in the United States and Canada. From the perspective of selection effect, migration as a risk factor was not proven. The migration process perspective could have underestimated a higher danger of problem behavior in second-generation migrant children. Comparing native and migrant children, balanced results in problem behavior were reported, but the Asian migrant group was at higher risk of developing mental disorders. Family-based risk factors were offered: high acculturation stress, low English language competence, language brokering, discrepancies in children’s and parent’s cultural orientation, the non-Western cultural orientation, e.g., collectivistic, acceptance feelings of parents, or harsh parenting. However, the importance to support migrant families in the acculturation process becomes apparent.