Exploring the Pathways through which Occupation Affects the Well-being of Immigrants in Canada

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This thesis builds on the current literature on immigrant well-being by providing a nationally representative examination of how occupation, measured in terms of occupational socio-economic score (OSS), affects immigrant mental health and life satisfaction. Using the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) 2003-2014 linked to the Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB) 1980-2018, I used modern mediation techniques to examine how personal income and community belonging act as personal resources that potentially mediate the effect of occupation on the mental health and life satisfaction of economic immigrants (n=8,997), sponsored immigrants (n=4,920), refugees (n=2,033) and non-immigrants (n=190,992). The Stress Process Model (SPM) frames the investigation. I find that OSS does indirectly affect well-being, but the mechanisms through which it operates differ for various immigrant groups, and across the two measures of well-being. Personal income positively links OSS and self-rated mental health for non-immigrants and economic immigrants, but not for sponsored immigrants or refugees. In terms of life satisfaction, income was a significant mediator for economic immigrants, sponsored immigrants, and non-immigrants. On the other hand, community belonging negatively links OSS to both self-rated mental health and life satisfaction for both sponsored immigrants and non-immigrants, but not for economic immigrants or refugees. These findings suggest the heterogeneity of ways through which resources impact the mental well-being of different immigrant groups. Several suggestions for future research and policy implications are also discussed.
mental health, life satisfaction, economic immigrants, sponsored immigrants, refugees, non-immigrants, community belonging, personal income, occupational socioeconomic score (OSS), parallel mediation analysis, stress process model (SPM), quantitative research
Pasaraba, L. J. M. (2023). Exploring the pathways through which occupation affects the well-being of immigrants in Canada (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from https://prism.ucalgary.ca.