Through their eyes: Chinese immigrant emerging adults, acculturation, and mental health
This study was designed to investigate the acculturation experiences and mental health service usage of Chinese immigrant emerging adults (ages 18-25) in Saskatchewan along with their suggestions to improve service usage. Research in Saskatchewan has been sparse, and limits our understanding of how Chinese immigrants in less ethnically diverse urban centres adapt to their newer environments. This study followed a general qualitative study approach wherein the researcher acts as the instrument to inductively make meaning of the participants’ experience (Merriam, 2002). Individuals up to age 30 were invited to take part in the study as they had either recently exited emerging adulthood or, as age is only a rough indicator may still be in emerging adulthood. Five participants between ages 19-29 were recruited through referral sampling and advertising on a university message board. Participants took part in two in-depth one hour interviews one to two weeks apart. Berry’s (1997) acculturative framework was used as a foundation to understand acculturation experiences and the existence of acculturative stress. The findings of this study suggest that acculturative stress and its connection to mental health concerns is complex and appeared to be mediated by family dynamics and communication. Further, this study provided contextualised information for mental health professionals in central Canada or less diverse urban centres to improve the life outcomes of Chinese immigrant emerging adults, including reaching out to normalise help-seeking for mental concerns, and encouraging Chinese to talk about their struggles. Results suggest that mental health professionals need to pay close attention to their multicultural competency when working with Chinese immigrant emerging adults.
Chinese, immigrants, mental health, emerging adult*, young adult, acculturation
Master of Education (M.Ed.)
Educational Psychology and Special Education
School and Counselling Psychology