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Intersection of Health, Immigration, and Youth: A Systematic Literature Review

Abstract

The goal of this literature review is to provide a critical overview of existing research on the health of immigrant youth within the last decade. Although the review focuses primarily on Canada, the findings have implications for public health planning, policy, and settlement/immigration services in other immigrant-receiving countries. The main objectives are: (i) to locate relevant literature written in the past 10 years (January 1998–January 2008); (ii) to undertake a critical review of retrieved studies; (iii) to highlight gaps in the current state of our knowledge and make recommendations for future research directions. The review focuses on the influence of migration experience on health of youth.

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Notes

  1. Révolution tranquille or Quiet revolution was the period of intense change in Quebec, Canada, in the 1960s. The movement for civil rights, unionization of civil service, massive investment in the public education system and nationalized electricity production and distribution highlight some of the characteristics of this era (for an overview see: Claude Bélanger, The Quiet Revolution. Available online at: http://faculty.marianopolis.edu/c.belanger/quebechistory/events/quiet.htm).

  2. [The integration mode] “implies the maintenance of the cultural integrity of the group, as well as the movement by the group to become an integral part of a larger societal framework” …Assimilation, however, can occur “by way of absorption of a non-dominant group into an established dominant group, or it can be by way of the merging of many groups to form a new society, as in the “melting pot” concept” (based on Berry’s two dimensional acculturation model cited in Khanlou and Crawford [9]).

  3. Respondent Driven Sampling is an advance in sampling methodology that resolves difficulties associated with sampling hard-to-reach groups, that is, groups that are small relative to the general population, and for which no exhaustive list of population members is available. Examples include injecting drug users or undocumented refugees (see http://www.respondentdrivensampling.org/).

  4. When data on immigration status is not directly available, proxy variables such as ‘the language spoken at home’ or ‘last name’ are used to guess the immigration status of the participants.

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Acknowledgments

The author would like to thank Dr. Sarah Flicker, Dr. Martin Bunch, and Dr. David Zakus for their critical feedback on this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Roxana Salehi.

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Salehi, R. Intersection of Health, Immigration, and Youth: A Systematic Literature Review. J Immigrant Minority Health 12, 788–797 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-009-9247-6

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Keywords

  • Immigrant youth
  • Immigrant health
  • Canada
  • Systematic literature review