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Medical News & Perspectives
August 20, 2008

Children of Immigrants May Face Stresses, Challenges That Affect Mental Health

JAMA. 2008;300(7):780-781. doi:10.1001/jama.300.7.780

Washington, DC—In addition to facing the usual developmental tasks of acquiring a sense of self and becoming independent, children of immigrants to the United States also must cope with the challenges of being a member of an ethnic or racial minority and with a host of other stresses, according to speakers at a symposium on immigrant children's mental health at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) here in May. Given the difficulties that immigrant families often face, it is perhaps not surprising that some of these children have a heightened risk for depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, and other mental health problems.