13-10-2021 | Original Paper
African Immigrant Parents’ Perspectives on the Factors Influencing Their Children’s Mental Health
Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Child and Family Studies | Uitgave 1/2022Log in om toegang te krijgen
African immigrant children experience some of the poorest mental health outcomes in Canada, yet limited research has systematically mental health determinants among this growing demographic. Our participatory action research project (PAR) explored, from the perspectives of parents, the factors influencing the mental health of African immigrant children in Alberta, Canada. The project utilized an intersectionality theoretical lens to collect and analyze data from a sample of 81 African immigrant parents who participated in nine conversation cafés and five focus groups. This PAR approach provided an ideal structure to engage parents and generate knowledge on the factors influencing their children’s mental health. Parents identified racial discrimination, limited mental health awareness, limited access to mental health supports, changing family dynamics, parental absenteeism, and unresolved pre-migration trauma as factors influencing their children’s mental health. These factors were perceived as contributing to children’s experiences of material deprivation, social problems, and emotional difficulties. Our findings suggest that interventions to overcome these factors and enhance the mental health of African immigrant children must target transformation of the family, community, and cultural systems within which their lives are embedded, as well as the policies and institutions that produce and reproduce child mental health vulnerabilities.