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Immigrant kids 'doing just fine': study

Joel Linde · 14 Nov 2011, 16:16

Published: 14 Nov 2011 16:16 GMT+01:00

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“Our thesis I would say was in line with the common conception in our society that children of immigrated parents would have an extra stress factor in life and be affected negatively by that,” researcher Linda Dekeyser, PhD doctoral candidate at the faculty of health sciences (Hälsouniversitetet) at Linköping University, told The Local.

“But we were positively surprised to find that that is not the case.”

The result of the study “Barn i Södra Sverige” (literally: Children in southern Sweden) is based on answers from 1,179 children at the age of 12 in different districts in southern Sweden.

Of these, 142 have at least one immigrant parent.

The 1,179 children were all asked to fill out a copy of "The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire" (SDQ), which is widely used when researching children’s mental health.

The survey included questions about the child’s social strengths, hyperactivity, concentration difficulties and friendship issues.

The researchers found that there was no discernable difference in the mental health of the groups of children, and Dekeyser underlined that the study is important as research in the field is hardly extensive.

“Twenty nine percent of those born in Sweden are children of immigrants, so it’s a very large group in society, but few studies are made to see how these children feel," she said.

Story continues below…

Dekeyser is also working on an additional study which will cover all of Sweden. It will give parents and teachers a chance to answer the same type of questions regarding the children, and the results would be compared.

She however expects the study to show that parents and teachers believe there is a difference in how children with immigrant parents, and those with Swedish parents, feel mentally.

Joel Linde (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

18:47 November 14, 2011 by Summer Dreams
But actually they are children right?

then grow up right?

then research again in lets say 20 years time
18:53 November 14, 2011 by Lavaux
How does one feel mentally?
19:26 November 14, 2011 by Grokh
its a known fact the second generation immigrants, those born out of immigrant parents, are the ones that end up causing trouble because of being caught halfway between 2 cultures.This explosion however only occurs around teenage hood

but while they are kids I'm sure they are fine and equally as spoiled as Swedish kids
20:01 November 14, 2011 by Douglas Garner
I cannot help but wonder if the study was designed to include questions that might provide specific insight into immigrant issues. To look at school performance and friends is one thing... but are their friends evenly mixed throughout differing cultures? Do kids who live in apartments have the same self esteme as those in freestanding homes? Do they feel singled out because of thier religious beliefs?
20:28 November 14, 2011 by Just_Kidding
Cool... now we can tolerate more abuse against immigrants....
20:53 November 14, 2011 by skogsbo
another worthless survey and pointless statistics, and this was a Phd sutdying, shocking. I would imagine their will be huge range immigrants mental wellbeing, depending on if the child was born in Sweden and knows no different, if they settled here at dagis age, or older. Their level of cohesion into Swedish society will vary. Another factor is location if it's an islamic immigrant's child and they settle into an islamic immigrant area, they might have a high level of well being, but they are practically still living back in their native country and for 95% of their lives not in Swedish culture at all. Was it an even spread across the age ranges, sex and location, both cities and rural, north and south, all ethnicities..etc?? Otherwise all stats are worthless.

There are so many variables which have not been addressed in this article and possibly not in the actual study. Most EU migrant kids seem to settle very well, but then the culture leap isn't too great, it's the set in their ways adults (us) who need longer!
21:07 November 14, 2011 by eddie123
bizarre racism all around Sweden... how is this different from studying the brain of black people to determine if they have lower mental capacity? it is just pure racism that drives you people under the guise of academic research.
07:11 November 15, 2011 by Douglas Garner
Eddie, I don't think that this is about racism... it is about assimilation and feelings. Skogsbo's comments and mine are about the quality of the study design. We suspect that the conclusion of the study may be flawed or at least incomplete because questions were not included to fully investigate the immigrant subgroups.

This is a problem with most surveys, particularly those designed by students. The flaws can occur due to a limited number of questions, inadequate thought or experience, or something as simple as the wording.
10:33 November 15, 2011 by Grokh
@eddie123 or the flow of immigrants to the country has been so vast that the government is doing research to determine how well people are adapting thus genuinely giving a dam about its citizens .

not everything is racism you know. or are you the ones that thought kina puffar was racist ....
10:39 November 15, 2011 by darky
Such studies are not valid. Insufficient and unrepresentative data. What was the age range of these children?? Innocent children of 12-15 years might have been considered which will obviously give rise to skewed (flawed) results. Work with youths. Say from 22 years -30 and you will get an opposite of these stipulated results. Discrimination, Xenophobia and many more. I guess these traits are in the blood (inborn) that most of the swedes have a limit especially when it comes to interacting or dealing with immigrants. Believe me or not, it is just the truth.
19:41 November 15, 2011 by salalah
Then at the age of 18 they discover that they will always be "Blattar"
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