The study examines psychosomatic symptoms, and host and heritage identities as mediators of the relationship between discrimination and aggressive behavior and substance use. Israeli data from the 2013-14 Health Behaviors of School-aged Children study included a representative sample of 1503 first- and second-generation immigrant adolescents aged 11–17 years (45.2% male) from the Former Soviet Union and Ethiopia in Israel. Structural equation modeling, controlling for age, gender, family affluence and immigrant generation, showed different pathways for the two groups. For FSU-heritage adolescents, the relationship between discrimination and aggressive behavior and substance use was partially mediated by psychosomatic symptoms. Lower host and heritage identities also predicted psychosomatic symptoms. For Ethiopian-heritage adolescents, the relationship between discrimination and outcomes was fully mediated by psychosomatic symptoms and a weaker host identity. Results support an externalizing model, whereby discrimination leads to a weaker host identity and increased psychosomatic symptoms, associated with substance use and aggressive behavior.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Foundation for Professionals in Services for Adolescents
- Host and heritage identity
- Immigrant adolescents
- Psychosomatic symptoms
- Substance use