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Regular version of the site

Article

Schools as acculturative and developmental contexts for youth of immigrant and refugee background.

European psychologist. 2018. Vol. 23. P. 44-56.
Schachner M. K., Juang L. P., Moffitt U., van de Vijver F.

Schools are important for the academic and socio-emotional development, as well as acculturation of immigrant-and refugee-background youth. We highlight individual differences which shape their unique experiences, while considering three levels of the school context in terms of how they may affect adaptation outcomes: (1) interindividual interactions in the classroom (such as peer relations, student-teacher relations, teacher beliefs, and teaching practices), (2) characteristics of the classroom or school (such as ethnic composition and diversity climate), and (3) relevant school-and nation-level policies (such as diversity policies and school tracking). Given the complexity of the topic, there is a need for more research taking an integrated and interdisciplinary perspective to address migration related issues in the school context. Teacher beliefs and the normative climate in schools seem particularly promising points for intervention, which may be easier to change than structural aspects of the school context. More inclusive schools are also an important step toward more peaceful interethnic relations in diverse societies.