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Assessment of Child and Adolescent Migrants to Australia: A Crosscultural Comparison

  • Paula M. Barrett (a1), Robi Sonderegger (a2) and Noleen L. Sonderegger (a3)

Abstract

This study examines whether young migrants, differentiated by cultural background, (a) vary in their experience of cultural adjustment, emotional distress, levels of self-esteem, and coping ability, and (b) how they compare with Australian students on measures of self-esteem and coping ability. One hundred and seventy-three students differentiated by cultural origin (former-Yugoslavian, Chinese, Mixed-culture, and Australian) and school level (primary and high school) were recruited at random from public schools in South East Queensland. Students completed measures of cultural adjustment (Bicultural Involvement Questionnaire), anxiety and trauma (Revised Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale, Trauma Symptom Checklist), self-esteem (Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale), and coping ability (Coping Scale for Children and Adolescents). The main findings from this study indicate that culturally diverse groups residing in Australia vary in their experience of cultural adaptation, level of self-esteem, and symptoms of emotional distress, illustrating culture-specific strengths and weaknesses among young non-English speaking (NESB) students. This study reveals information on how culturally diverse migrants acculturate, the type and severity of symptoms they experience, and their capacity to cope in stressful situations. The need for culture-specific early intervention and prevention programs is discussed.

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Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: Paula M. Barrett, School of Applied Psychology, Griffith University, Mt Gravatt Campus, Mt. Gravatt, QLD 4111, Australia.

Assessment of Child and Adolescent Migrants to Australia: A Crosscultural Comparison

  • Paula M. Barrett (a1), Robi Sonderegger (a2) and Noleen L. Sonderegger (a3)

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