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ERIC Number: EJ1208351
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Mar
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2578-4218
Contribution of Schools to Mental Health and Resilience in Recently Immigrated Youth
Venta, Amanda; Bailey, Cassandra; Muñoz, Carla; Godinez, Estrella; Colin, Yessica; Arreola, Aleyda; Abate, Anna; Camins, Joshua; Rivas, Monico; Lawlace, Sally
School Psychology, v34 n2 p138-147 Mar 2019
Given the high risk of psychopathology among recently immigrated Central American adolescents, the aim of this study was to examine several putative protective factors: parental attachment, peer attachment, and school engagement. Based on prior research with other immigrant groups, parental and peer attachment were expected to correlate with reduced mental health problems, increased prosocial behavior, and increased resilience. However, the current study sought to add to existing data regarding putative protective factors by testing the incremental contribution of school engagement over and above existing support from parents and peers. The present study included 78 recently immigrated adolescents from Central America who were enrolled at a public high school for recent immigrants. Findings revealed that school engagement made a significant, positive contribution to mental health and resilience for youth above and beyond the effects of parental and peer attachment. Specifically, school engagement (i.e., subscales Behavioral Engagement, Emotional Disaffection, and Active Behavioral Disaffection) uniquely contributed to models predicting externalizing psychopathology, prosocial behavior, and resilience. In sum, the findings of this study preliminarily suggest that fostering school engagement may have protective effects for recently immigrated youth above and beyond traditional (i.e., peer, family) supports. Impact and Implications: The present study included recently immigrated adolescents from Central America, and results suggested that for this highly vulnerable group, school engagement was related to reduced externalizing mental health problems and higher prosocial behavior and resilience above and beyond other forms of social support (e.g., parent, peer attachment). Findings suggest that school engagement may be an important avenue for future research and intervention given high risk for mental health problems in this immigrant group and the loss of other forms of social support that often accompany migration.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment; Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire