Marta Gonçalves, Benjamin Cook
International Journal of Clinical Neurosciences and Mental Health, 3, 2016
Immigrants tend to have better mental health than their host country-born counterparts, despite disadvantaged socioeconomic status—the so-called immigrant paradox. The acculturation hypothesis suggests a decline in their mental health over time in the host country. Increased perceived discrimination and family cultural conflict are pathways by which acculturation might relate to deterioration of mental health for immigrants. In this paper we will present an intervention approach, which proposes that a strategy for ensuring maintenance of mental health for immigrants is changing lifestyle. This approach called “Life Training: My 7 Core Areas of Health” is based on the theoretical model of Ralf Schwarzer—The Health Action Process Approach and works on psychological processes that are under behavioral change in seven areas of health: physical, psychological, social, spiritual, financial, family and leisure. This is a discussion paper in which two claims are made. First, that some migrants’ health can worsen as they age which is associated with their migrant status. Second, that there may be, as yet untested in this respect, models of health behavioral change, which can mitigate these risks.
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