Dear Immigrants: Welcome to Your New Home, Especially If You Are from Africa, Asia or the Middle East
Though there are many reasons to welcome immigrants to our country you can now add mental health to the list. Children of immigrants, on average, have better mental health than the children of their new home/destination country. Within that group, children of intact married families do best. The largest, multi-nation-of-origin and nation-of-destination study finds that the intact married family whose members are close and supportive of each other has higher mental health than the average mental health of their destination country. Asians, Africans and Middle Easterners all outscore the population of their new homes (England, Germany, Netherlands and Sweden). Though Latino children have better mental health, on average, than children of their new home there is strong evidence that family intactness and cohesion is lower in Latino families than in the other immigrant groups.
Given that the US is now, predominantly, a culture of rejection within the family it is to be expected that intact immigrant families are also mentally healthier than the average US family.
It would be good to find out if immigrants to the US from Asia, Africa and the Middle East have greater family intactness than Latinos and if they also have higher mental health scores.
This European study underscores the fragility of the Latino family, which I, like most others, had always thought meant a strong family culture, at least when they first arrived in the US. If a young teenager does not have confidence in his family he is less likely to have confidence in himself. For leaders in Latino community the lesson is obvious: strengthen marriage.
Man is made to belong in family and thrives when he does, no matter what the color of his skin or the culture from which he comes. It is nice to have the social sciences illustrate a universal law of nature.