First, second, and third generation immigrants have a number of psychological and or behavioral differences. According to Suarez-Orozco and Desiree, “first generation immigrants experience less depression and greater positive wellbeing than their native-born age mates of similar demographic and family backgrounds” (2006, p.167).
This follows because the first generation immigrants found their new territory as a total solution to their economic, social, and cultural woes. Additionally, various family factors act as protective factors that enable these first generation immigrants to retain incredible wellbeing levels. Some of these factors include parental supervision, social support coupled with religious practices while not negating the absence of conflicts between parents and their children.
All these factors combined lead to low depression levels among the first generation immigrants. On the other hand, second generation immigrants “do not differ significantly from native-born youth in terms of psychological well-being” (Suarez-Orozco & Desiree, 2006, p.169).
Third generation immigrants relocated to their new territories from a world in which people had the freedom to choose what was best for them with minimal or absolutely no parental supervision and or religious influences. Consequently, they have no ways and or myths of influencing the interpretation of hardships they face in their new colonies. This may explain higher depression levels among the second generation, which is more escalated among the third generation immigrants.
Engagement in undue behaviors such as drug abuse increases from the first to the third generation immigrants. This perhaps holds because some people consider abusing drugs as some of the mechanisms of overcoming depressing situations encountered in their new territories. It is important to note that drug and substance abuse is a phenomenon that is not only common to immigrants’ communities but also native communities.
Suarez-Orozco, C., & Desiree, B. (2006). Gendered Perspectives in Psychology: Immigrant Origin Immigrant youth. International Migration Review, 40(2), 165-198.
Minority groups differences in terms of their views of mental illness and psychotherapy
Issues related to minority groups’ mental health are attracting a great concern to psychologists and other health experts. “While members of minority groups experience mental health issues at a similar rate to White Americans, they are less likely to seek treatment” (Watson, 2007, p.17). This means that the minority people having mental illness go untreated for a long period.
This makes the symptoms and illness develop into alarming levels before such people can seek professional help. Minority groups come from a dark past in which they are struggling to cope with the aftermaths of discrimination and stigmatization. Consequently, they view the prevalence of mental health illness among them as a way of reviving this stigmatization. This idea is further developed by Watson who argues, “In some minority groups, there is a significant stigma associated with seeking mental healthcare” (2007, p. 31).
For instance, a member of a minority group may view his or her mental illness condition as a condition that may make him or her be judged in a harsher way in comparison to the people of white originality. Therefore, people coming from these minority groups may view psychotherapy diagnosis services as an endeavor to reveal the conditions of their mental illness that may make them further discriminated and stigmatized.
Some research has also revealed that people of minority groups’ origin are reluctant to seek psychotherapy services as a means of dealing with their mental illness conditions. In this extent, Watson reckons that in the United States’ people of Hispanic origin have low probabilities of seeking mental illness treatment from public clinics since “they go to clergy or family physicians, who can provide help and support but are unlikely to provide quality mental healthcare” (2007, p. 34).
These attitudes are detrimental to the United States’ efforts of ensuring a healthy population free from mental illness and associated ailments.
Watson, P. (2007). Psychology and Race. New Brunswick, NJ: Aldine Transaction.