Improving Immigrant Adolescent Mental Health: The Role of Cultural Identity


  • Rebecca Davidov Ridge High School
  • David Yastremski



Cultural identity, Mental health, Acculturation gaps, Acculturation stressors


As immigration to the United States continues to rise, so does the population of second-generation immigrant children. They often face acculturation stressors, the psychological response of distinct ethnic groups coming into contact with the mainstream culture and the conflicts that may arise, in the face of a new culture, along with culture gaps with their parents as they struggle to find their place in American society. As these stressors proliferate even into their teenage years, youth mental health is at risk. Thus, this review aims to synthesize the best available evidence surrounding immigrant acculturation gaps, parental and peer influence, and cultural identity, along with the impact on mental health. Specifically, this paper seeks to answer the question: to what extent does preserving cultural identity benefit the mental health of second-generation immigrant adolescents in the United States? Of the literature reviewed, I find strong evidence that a stronger cultural identity has positive effects on immigrant youth mental health and can help mitigate acculturative pressures as adolescents immigrate to the U.S. I also examine differing perspectives on the negative role cultural identity plays in navigating adolescence, but overall, the research suggests a benefit of cultural identity on mental health. 


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How to Cite

Davidov, R., & Yastremski, D. (2023). Improving Immigrant Adolescent Mental Health: The Role of Cultural Identity. Journal of Student Research, 12(3).



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