Immigration, citizenship, and the mental health of adolescents.

PLoS ONE. 2018;13(5):e0196859 DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0196859

 

Journal Homepage

Journal Title: PLoS ONE

ISSN: 1932-6203 (Online)

Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)

LCC Subject Category: Medicine | Science

Country of publisher: United States

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, XML

 

AUTHORS

Nicole Filion
Andrew Fenelon
Michel Boudreaux

EDITORIAL INFORMATION

Peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 24 weeks

 

Abstract | Full Text

To examine the reported mental health outcomes of adolescent foreign-born non-citizens and adolescent foreign-born U.S. citizens compared to adolescent U.S.-born citizens.Using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire in the National Health Interview Survey, we compared mental health status of U.S.-born adolescent citizens to foreign-born citizens and non-citizens in the years 2010-2015, and examined how differences in emotional difficulty changed based on time spent in the U.S.Results suggest that non-citizen adolescents experience better mental health outcomes than U.S.-born citizens. However, the mental health status of foreign-born citizens is indistinguishable from that of the U.S.-born, after accounting for basic socio-demographic characteristics. The prevalence of emotional difficulty experienced by immigrant adolescents increased with a family's duration in the U.S.Our findings are consistent with a broader health advantage for the foreign-born, but we present new evidence that the mental health advantage of foreign-born adolescents exists only for non-citizens.