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Article

Acculturation, Discrimination and Wellbeing among Second Generation of Immigrants in Canada

Berry J. W., Hou F.

This study examines the acculturation, experiences of discrimination and wellbeing of a representative sample of over 3000 adult second generation of immigrants in Canada; 43% were born in Canada, while 57% immigrated before the age of 12 years. Four acculturation profiles werecreatedusingtwosenseofbelonging questions: those whohavestrongsenseofbelonging to both Canada and own ethnic group (integrated); those who have a strong sense of belonging to Canada only (assimilated); those who have strong sense of belonging to own ethnic group only (separated); and those who have weak sense of belonging to both Canada or own ethnic group (marginalised). In the study sample, 75% areinthe integration group, 15%inassimilation, 6% in separation, and 5% in marginalization. Wellbeing is assessed with two questions about life satisfaction and self-rated mental health. Those in the integration group have a significantly higher level on both measures of wellbeing. The experience of discrimination is significantly associated with being in the separation group. The effect of discrimination on wellbeing varied by acculturation profile: marginalization amplifies the effect of discrimination, while assimilation mitigates it. Social and demographic factors also affect wellbeing, particularly having low levels of education, income and employment. Implications for the settlement process are suggested.