PMID: 15016267Mar 16, 2004Paper

Mental health, life stress and social support among young Norwegian adolescents with immigrant and host national background

Scandinavian Journal of Psychology
Brit Oppedal, Espen Røysamb


The first aim of the study was to investigate differences in level of mental health, life stress and social support among adolescents with immigrant and domestic background. A second aim was to identify culture group and gender specific sources of risk and protective factors and their relation to mental health. Questionnaire data were collected from 633 students, aged 13, in Oslo, Norway. Immigrant adolescents reported higher level of psychological distress and lower social support than host students. Of the four gender-culture groups, immigrant boys reported the highest level of problems, with a 28% prevalence of anxiety/depression. There were no significant differences in prevalence among the girls. Specific patterns of relationships between life stress, support, and mental health were found across gender and culture. The results were discussed within a framework of culture differences in values and gender role expectancies, underscoring the importance of studying each gender/culture group separately.


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