Coping with a New Society: The Unique Psychosocial Problems of Immigrant Youth

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Abstract

When immigrant children and adolescents leave their country of origin to live in the United States, they leave behind a familiar language, culture, community, and social system. They also experience a variety of emotional and cognitive adjustments to the realities of life in the United States. Many of these conflicts and adjustments place immigrant children at increased risk for psychosocial problems, school failure, drug use, and other risk-taking behavior. Early identification of immigrant children at risk for these problems can help school personnel and health care providers plan culturally appropriate and effective interventions. This article discusses the potential psychosocial problems encountered by immigrant children in adjusting to a new home, school, and society, and offers suggestions for action.

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Authors

  • Delores C.S. James

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