The Wellbeing of immigrant children and parents in Canada depends much on a sense of belonging

Economists Peter Burton and Shelley Phipps, Dalhousie University studied the life satisfaction of youth who immigrated to Canada as children and their immigrant parents. They used data on thousands of recent immigrants and Canadian-born families collected through the Canadian Community Health Survey (2002-2008).

In their working paper “The Well-Being of Immigrant Children and Parents in Canada“, Burton and Phipps find less life satisfaction than Canadian born families with youth.

From the news item covering the release of the paper in today’s Globe and Mail by Frances Woolley:

“Immigrants felt less of a sense of belonging than the Canadian-born. For youth, feeling like you don’t belong is a better predictor of being less satisfied with life than being an immigrant. Indeed, once Burton and Phipps controlled for people’s sense of belonging, the gap between immigrant and comparable non-immigrant youth went away. (That was not true for parents, however — even immigrant parents who felt like they belonged to their local communities were still less satisfied than non-immigrants)”.

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