Immigrant youth adaptation in context: The role of society of settlement

David L. Sam*, Gabriel Horenczyk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Using the dataset from the International Comparative Study of Ethnocultural Youth, the chapter examines variations in immigrant youth's cultural identities in three types of societies of settlement ('settler', 'colonial', 'recent-receiving'). In addition, the chapter explores differences in psychological and sociocultural adaptation in the three types of societies and the moderating role of society of settlement in the relationship between cultural identity and adaptation. Results suggest that the type of society of settlement makes a difference in immigrants' cultural identifications and in their psychological and sociocultural adaptation. Immigrants residing in recent-receiving societies where they constitute a small proportion of the larger population and the society has a short history of receiving immigrants generally exhibit low ethnic and national identities relative to immigrants living in settler societies with longer immigration history and where immigrants constitute a relatively larger proportion of the country's total population. Immigrants living in settler societies exhibited stronger majority national identity; they also report the poorest psychological and sociocultural adaptation when compared with their counterparts in the two other types of society. Not only did immigrants living in colonial societies report relatively stronger ethnic identification, they also tended to show the best adaptation outcomes. Not surprisingly, the society of settlement was found to partially moderate the relationship between cultural identification and immigrant youth adaptation. These findings are discussed in terms of how society of settlement shapes the development of cultural identity against a background of attitudes towards cultural maintenance.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Impact of Immigration on Children's Development
EditorsCynthia Garcia Coll
Number of pages13
StatePublished - 2012

Publication series

NameContributions to Human Development
ISSN (Print)0301-4193
ISSN (Electronic)1664-2570

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2012 by S. Karger AG. All rights reserved.


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