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The “Mixed Bag” of Segregation – On positive and negative associations with migrants’ acculturation

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Abstract

Many researchers and practitioners consider ethnic segregation in neighborhoods, or schools detrimental to migrants’ acculturation in host societies. Empirically, however, segregation is a “mixed bag” and its effects depend crucially on the investigated acculturation domain (e.g., negative for language skills, positive for well-being). As most prior studies have focused on a restricted spectrum of acculturation, a comprehensive assessment within one single study is needed to establish comparability across different acculturation domains. Among over 8,000 immigrant-background students from four countries, we investigated the association of classroom segregation, defined as opportunities for contact with natives and other migrants, with a broad spectrum of acculturation (academic, attitude-related, identity-related, social, health-related, and psychological criteria). Some findings were consistent (e.g., academic acculturation), some were contrary to prior research (e.g., social acculturation). In sum, our results shed light on the “mixed bag” of segregation and contribute to the understanding of a crucial social issue. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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... By engaging in both, the young immigrant selected in our study showed to be able to respond to the challenges posed by acculturation. A partially converging suggestion come from studies that highlighted the mixed effects of separation, harmful in some social and personal spheres yet positive in others and helping immigrants to cope with discrimination (Boileau et al., 2021). Moreover, what emerged from the life stories collected is a flexible navigation of the different acculturation strategies. ...
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The present study was designed to understand differences between unaccompanied refugees who retained or achieved good mental health (healthy or resilient) and those who maintained or developed poor mental health (clinical and vulnerable). Using person-based analyses, the role of pre-migration traumatic exposure and acculturation-related factors in long-term trajectories of psychological adjustment among unaccompanied refugees was explored. This study included three waves of data collection in a population-based sample. The participants were 918 unaccompanied refugees who had received asylum and residence status in Norway. The pattern of change in depression symptoms over time was used to characterize subgroups displaying resilient, vulnerable, clinical or healthy trajectories. Results indicated that the extent of post-migration acculturation hassles and heritage culture competence, as well as pre-migration traumatic events and gender, distinguished the refugee groups in terms of mental health trajectories. The implications for clinical practice and immigration policy are discussed.
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Are religious people psychologically better or worse adjusted than their nonreligious counterparts? Hundreds of studies have reported a positive relation between religiosity and psychological adjustment. Recently, however, a comparatively small number of cross-cultural studies has questioned this staple of religiosity research. The latter studies find that religious adjustment benefits are restricted to religious cultures. Gebauer, Sedikides, and Neberich (2012) suggested the religiosity as social value hypothesis (RASV) as one explanation for those cross-cultural differences. RASV states that, in religious cultures, religiosity possesses much social value, and, as such, religious people will feel particularly good about themselves. In secular cultures, however, religiosity possesses limited social value, and, as such, religious people will feel less good about themselves, if at all. Yet, previous evidence has been inconclusive regarding RASV and regarding cross-cultural differences in religious adjustment benefits more generally. To clarify matters, we conducted 3 replication studies. We examined the relation between religiosity and self-esteem (the most direct and appropriate adjustment indicator, according to RASV) in a self-report study across 65 countries (N = 2,195,301), an informant-report study across 36 countries (N = 560,264), and another self-report study across 1,932 urban areas from 243 federal states in 18 countries (N = 1,188,536). Moreover, we scrutinized our results against 7, previously untested, alternative explanations. Our results fully and firmly replicated and extended prior evidence for cross-cultural differences in religious adjustment benefits. These cross-cultural differences were best explained by RASV. (PsycINFO Database Record
Article
Does it matter if your personality fits in with the personalities of the people where you live? The present study explored the links between person-city personality fit and self-esteem. Using data from 543,934 residents of 860 U.S. cities, we examined the extent to which the fit between individuals' Big Five personality traits and the Big Five traits of the city where they live (i.e., the prevalent traits of the city's inhabitants) predicts individuals' self-esteem. To provide a benchmark for these effects, we also estimated the degree to which the fit between person and city religiosity predicts individuals' self-esteem. The results provided a nuanced picture of the effects of person-city personality fit on self-esteem: We found significant but small effects of fit on self-esteem only for openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness, rather than effects for all Big Five traits. Similar results and effect sizes were observed for religiosity. We conclude with a discussion of the relevance and limitations of this study.
Article
This study examines the relation between the proportion of co-ethnics in school and adolescents’ problem behaviour in school (e.g. skipping class and arguing with teachers) and whether friendship patterns are underlying this relationship. We use data from the Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Survey in Four European Countries on ±16,000 students in England, Germany, The Netherlands, and Sweden and find that children display less problem behaviour when the proportion of co-ethnics in school is higher. This relationship is mediated by the characteristics of the friends that students have: the proportion of co-ethnics in school positively relates to students’ proportion of in-school friends and co-ethnic friends in class, which are in turn negatively associated with problem behaviour in school. The strength and significance of these paths depend on students’ ethnicity and country of residence. Implications of this study are discussed in the conclusion.
Article
This paper provides operational procedures for coding internationally comparable measures of occupational status from the recently published International Standard Classification of Occupation 1988 (ISCO88) of the International Labor Office (ILO, 1990). We first discuss the nature of the ISCO88 classification and its relationship to national classifications used around the world and also to its predecessor, ISCO68 (ILO, 1969), which has been widely utilized in comparative research. We argue that comparative research would gain much from adopting ISCO88 as the standard tool of classification and provide guidance on how to do this. We then outline the procedures we have used to generate new standard recodes for three internationally comparable measures of occupational status: Treiman's Standard International Occupational Prestige Scale (SIOPS), Ganzeboom et al.'s International Socio-Economic Index of Occupational Status (ISEI), and Erikson and Goldthorpe's class categories (EGP). To update the SIOPS prestige scores we have directly matched the occupational titles in the SIOPS scale to the categories of the ISCO88 classification. For ISEI scores we have replicated the procedure used to create scores for the ISCO68 categories, employing the same data but using newly developed matches between the underlying national occupational classifications and ISCO88. To construct the EGP class codes we have mapped the ISCO88 occupation categories into a 10-category classification developed by the CASMIN project for a 12-country analysis. To validate these scales, we estimated parameters of a basic status-attainment model from an independent source of data: the pooled file from the International Social Justice Project (a large international data file that combines data from sample surveys in 14 countries). Estimates based on occupational status scales derived from ISCO88 and ISCO68 are highly similar.
Article
The present study aims to map the life satisfaction of adolescents from ethnic minority/immigrant backgrounds in schools with high concentrations of co-ethnic peers by comparing them with their mainstream counterparts in Hong Kong. The life satisfaction of 1,522 students was measured by the validated Multidimensional Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale. Tests of invariance were conducted followed by latent mean analysis. In contrast to the public debates on the undesirability of co-ethnic education, the findings do not suggest negative associations between the ethnic minority or immigrant status of these students and their self-appraised global and specific life satisfaction in school and with friends. This study confirms that a school factor exists and that there are significant differences in the life satisfaction of the student groups under review. Educating students in schools with high concentrations of co-ethnic peers appears to benefit South Asians but not mainland Chinese immigrant students.
Article
Migrant networks are usually regarded as helpful for the labor market integration of recently arrived immigrants. From a general assimilation perspective, however, it has been questioned whether they are really the right sort of ties to help immigrants succeed in the host society, or whether, instead, they constitute some sort of mobility trap. Empirical evidence from available studies is mixed, and a reference to more general social capital theory suggests that the effect might be contingent on the institutional context of the receiving country, the specific immigrant groups involved, and the particular types of jobs. In this paper, we study the impact of migrant networks on the labor market integration of recent immigrants from the former Soviet Union to Germany. This turns out to be a strategic test case, for both theoretical and methodological reasons. Relying on longitudinal data and using discrete event history models, we show that the findings are different for two distinguishable groups involved, Ethnic Germans and Jewish Quota Refugees, and that whether the effects are positive or negative further depends on whether or not these groups seek entry to higher-status jobs in the professional, managerial, or technical occupations.
Article
Ecological factors in psychological acculturation research are often neglected, although recent work suggests that context and acculturation may interact in predicting adaptation outcomes. The ethnic density effect–the protective effect related to a greater proportion of people from the same ethnic group living in a particular neighborhood–might be one such ecological candidate. The current study integrates these constructs by unpacking the perceived ethnic density effect and examining how it is related to acculturation in a diverse sample (N = 146) of immigrant students in Montreal, Canada. It was found that the negative relation between perceived ethnic density and depression was mediated by discrimination but not by social support. Furthermore, a crossover interaction indicated that heritage acculturation was protective against depression for those residing in ethnically concentrated neighborhoods but not for those living in ethnically sparse neighborhoods. This strongly supports an ecology‐acculturation fit, highlighting the need to contextualize acculturation research.
Article
Depression rates rise in adolescence and the prevalence of depression is higher among Latino adolescents than other race/ethnic groups. Ethnic density among immigrant populations is associated with better health and mental health outcomes among adults, but little is known about its effects among adolescents or its mechanisms. This study examines the pathways by which immigrant density may affect mental health outcomes among Latino youth. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), we drew a sample of 2,678 Hispanic youth. Multivariate multilevel logistic regression analyses found that Latino immigrant density predicted lower odds of depression among both male and female immigrant but not non-immigrant Latino adolescents. No mediating effects of neighborhood efficacy, perceived safety or perceived contentment were observed in this study. Results reaffirm the need to further explore the mechanisms through which ethnic density exerts its salubrious effect on immigrant youth mental health.
Article
It is widely debated whether immigrants who live among co-ethnics are less willing to integrate into the host society. Exploiting the quasi-experimental guest worker placement across German regions during the 1960/70s as well as information on immigrants' inter-ethnic contact networks and social activities, we are able to identify the causal effect of ethnic concentration on social integration. The exogenous placement of immigrants ‘switches off’ observable and unobservable differences in the willingness or ability to integrate which have confounded previous studies. Evidence suggests that the presence of co-ethnics increases migrants' interaction cost with natives and thus reduces the likelihood of integration.
Article
In this study predictors of multiculturalism at the individual and classroom level are tested in a multilevel model. Previous studies attempting to find predictors of multiculturalism focused only on the individual level, possibly risking an attribution error. Multiculturalism is presented in this study as a notion stressing equal opportunities and minimizing discrimination as well as the conviction that the access to other cultures enriches ones own life. Using a sample of 448 adolescents from junior vocational education it was found that more ethnic diversity at the classroom level is positively related to adolescents’ support for multiculturalism. As such, this study supports the intergroup contact theory.
Article
Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of migrant density in school on the well-being of pupils with a migrant origin in first as well as second generation. Methods: Cross-sectional analysis of data from a national classroom survey of 15-year-old Swedish schoolchildren. The study population included 76 229 pupils (86.5% participation) with complete data set from 1352 schools. Six dimensions of well-being from the KIDSCREEN were analysed in two-level linear regression models to assess the influence of migrant origin at individual level and percentage of students with a migrant origin at school level, as well as interaction terms between them. Z-scores were used to equalize scales. Results: A high density (>50%) of pupils with a migrant origin in first or second generation was associated with positive well-being on all six scales for foreign-born pupils originating in Africa or Asia compared with schools with low (<10%) migrant density. The effect sizes were 0.56 for boys and 0.29 for girls on the comprehensive KIDSCREEN 10-index (P<0.001) and 0.61 and 0.34, respectively, for psychological well-being (P<0.001). Of the boys and girls born in Africa or Asia, 31.6% and 34.6%, respectively, reported being bullied during the past week in schools with low (<10%) migrant density. Conclusions: Pupils born in Africa or Asia are at high risk for being bullied and having impaired well-being in schools with few other migrant children. School interventions to improve peer relations and prevent bullying are needed to promote well-being in non-European migrant children.
Article
This chapter begins with a re-presentation of Allport's classic hypothesis and shows—with reference to recent cross-sectional and longitudinal surveys— laboratory experiments, and meta-analysis, that many of his original propositions have capably withstood the test of time. It examines Brewer and Miller's, and Gaertner and Dovidio's attempts to extend the contact hypothesis, in both of which categorization processes play a key role. This approach sets the stage for the model, first published in 1986 by Hewstone and Brown. In that model, emphasis was given on identifying the conditions that would allow the generalization of attitudes and behavior change beyond the specific context in which the contact occurs. The chapter discusses the developments of contact theory that occurred in the 1980s and reviews the empirical research instigated by the Hewstone–Brown model. It also reviews the progress to date and attempts a theoretical integration of these models in the light of the large volume of research that they have stimulated.
Article
From an intergroup relations perspective, relative group size is associated with the quantity and quality of intergroup contact: more positive contact (i.e., intergroup friendship) supports, and negative contact (i.e., experienced discrimination) hampers, minority identity, and school success. Accordingly, we examined intergroup contact as the process through which perceived relative proportions of minority and majority students in school affected minority success (i.e., school performance, satisfaction, and self-efficacy). Turkish minorities (N = 1,060) were compared in four Austrian and Belgian cities which differ in their typical school ethnic composition. Across cities, minority experiences of intergroup contact fully mediated the impact of perceived relative group size on school success. As expected, higher minority presence impaired school success through restricting intergroup friendship and increasing experienced discrimination. The association between minority presence and discrimination was curvilinear, however, so that schools where minority students predominated offered some protection from discrimination. To conclude, the comparative findings reveal positive and negative intergroup contact as key processes that jointly explain when and how higher proportions of minority students affect school success.
Chapter
(from the chapter) At the end of chapter 5 we present a factor analysis of the five adaptation variables. The two resulting factors were labeled psychological adaptation and sociocultural adaptation. These two factors are also used in this chapter. The model presented in this chapter specifies the hypotheses regarding the relationships among the four intercultural factors and the two adaptation factors. The central question is whether there are systematic relationships at the individual level between the intercultural experiences of immigrant youth and how well they adapt. That is, using the terms employed in chapter 1, we are seeking an answer to the question, "Does how adolescents acculturate relate to how well they adapt?" In the preceding chapters little attention is paid to countries of settlement or to immigrant groups in the International Comparative Study of Ethnocultural Youth (ICSEY) project. In this chapter we explore whether and to what extent the relationship between acculturation experiences and adaptation outcomes is affected by two country characteristics: their cultural diversity (including level of immigration) and their policies with respect to diversity. In addition, we analyze to what extent the strength of this relationship depends on demographic factors such as age, generation (first- or second-generation immigrants), gender, and socioeconomic status. See record 2006-05033-000 for details of the ICSEY project. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved) (chapter)
Article
Similarity breeds connection. This principle - the homophily principle - structures network ties of every type, including marriage, friendship, work, advice, support, information transfer, exchange, comembership, and other types of relationship. The result is that people's personal networks are homogeneous with regard to many sociodemographic, behavioral, and intrapersonal characteristics. Homophily limits people's social worlds in a way that has powerful implications for the information they receive, the attitudes they form, and the interactions they experience. Homophily in race and ethnicity creates the strongest divides in our personal environments, with age, religion, education, occupation, and gender following in roughly that order. Geographic propinquity, families, organizations, and isomorphic positions in social systems all create contexts in which homophilous relations form. Ties between nonsimilar individuals also dissolve at a higher rate, which sets the stage for the formation of niches (localized positions) within social space. We argue for more research on: (a) the basic ecological processes that link organizations, associations, cultural communities, social movements, and many other social forms; (b) the impact of multiplex ties on the patterns of homophily; and (c) the dynamics of network change over time through which networks and other social entities co-evolve.