Article Text

PDF

Epidemiology and policy
P1-214 Acculturation, ethnicity and adolescent mental health in the UK: findings from the dash (determinants of adolescent social well-being and health) longitudinal study
  1. E Lenguerrand1,
  2. K Bhui2,
  3. H Seeromanie1,
  4. M Maynard1
  1. 1MRC SPSHU, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
  2. 2Centre for Psychiatry, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Barts and the London School of Medicine & Dentistry, London, UK

Abstract

Background Acculturation is a stressful process of adaptation to societal changes and may influence cultural identity (eg, choice of friendships, religiosity). Ethnic minority boys in the UK, however, have a mental advantage over their White peers. Examining the relationship between cultural identity, ethnicity and psychological well-being may reveal mechanisms for protecting adolescent mental health.

Aim To examine the impact of cultural identity on psychological well-being in an ethnically diverse sample of adolescents.

Method Longitudinal data on psychological well-being (Goodman's Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire), cultural identity (ethnicity of friendships, racism, migrant status) and potential correlates (eg, socio-economic circumstances) were collected on 4785 adolescents, 80% ethnic minorities, in 51 schools in London, UK. Ethnicity of friendships was used to classify pupils as integrated (many friends of own/other ethnicity), traditional (mostly friends of own ethnicity), assimilated (mostly friends of other ethnicity) and marginalised (few friends). Linear mixed models explored the impact of cultural identity on psychological well-being between 12 and 16 y, and differential effects by ethnicity.

Results Psychological well-being improved through adolescence. Cultural identity was independently associated with psychological well-being among boys, with psychological well-being being most favourable in the integrated group and least so in the marginalised group. This effect did not vary by ethnicity or age and ethnic minority boys maintained a psychological well-being advantage over their White peers. Similar non-significant patterns were observed for girls.

Conclusion Acculturative processes impact on the psychological well-being of adolescent boys, regardless of ethnicity, and raises questions of how best to manage diversity in schools.

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.