Newcomer Youth Self-Esteem: A Community-Based Mixed Methods Study of Afghan, Columbian, Sudanese and Tamil Youth in Toronto, Canada

Part of the International Perspectives on Migration book series (IPMI, volume 7)


Self-esteem is recognized as an important correlate of youth mental wellbeing and, by extension, supportive of individual resilience. While an extensive body of literature exists on self-esteem of mainstream youth, less is known about self-esteem experiences of immigrant youth, and in particular newcomer and refugee youth. Applying a community-based participatory research approach, and using mixed methods, the aim of the study presented was to understand social determinants of newcomer youth’s mental wellbeing, and recognize both their challenges and resilience. The chapter focuses on the self-esteem of newcomer youth from four ethnic backgrounds (Afghan, Colombian, Sudanese, and Tamil).The study findings can contribute to mental health promotion strategies in multicultural and immigrant-receiving community settings.


Canada Community-based participatory research Gender Mental Health Mixed methods Newcomer Self-esteem Youth 



This study was made possible through funding provided by the Provincial Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health at CHEO, Ontario, Canada (Research Grant # 122). We are grateful for the assistance of our research personnel during the different phases of the study: our Project Coordinator, Tahira Gonsalves, and our Research Assistants: Michelle Lee, Lauren Glassen, Emma Oudeh, and Farah Islam. Emma and Farah are co-authors of this chapter. We also acknowledge the research administrative support provided by Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services in Toronto, Faculty of Nursing (University Toronto) and Faculty of Health (York University). We worked with an energetic and passionate group of youth as part of the study’s Youth Advisory Committee and Peer Researchers and acknowledge all their efforts and support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Women’s Health Research Chair in Mental Health, Faculty of Health, Associate Professor, School of NursingYork UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community ServicesTorontoCanada
  3. 3.York UniversityTorontoCanada

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