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Mental Health Issues in Adolescents and Young Adult African Immigrants

Tolu Olupona, Oluwole Jegede, Clarety Keseke, Evaristo Akerele

Abstract

African Immigrants in the United States account for a rapidly growing population of immigrants in the country, constituting about four percent of the foreign-born population. The group has seen a significant population increase from 881,300 in 2010 to 1,606,914 in 2010. African immigrants are however not a monolithic population, as this number and diversity increases, there continues to be a growing need for mental health professionals to assess the peculiar mental health care needs and practices of this population. The primary African immigrant groups in the United States include Nigerians, Ethiopians, Egyptians, Ghanaians, and Kenyans. The delivery of optimal mental health care to this population involves a thorough comprehension of factors that influence mental health in African Immigrant populations. Such factors include the ethno-cultural background of families, the diversity of religions, immigration status, socio-economic status, language, family and sibling subsystems, identity issues and various forms of mental health stigma. Due to the complexity of these socioeconomic and cultural nuances, the mental illness presented by adolescents and young adult Africans are often atypical and their treatment requires appropriate cultural competence by physicians and mental health professionals. 


Keywords

African Immigrants; Adolescent; Young adults; Mental health

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References

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18063/esp.v4.i1.946
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Copyright (c) 2019 Tolu Olupona, Oluwole Jegede, Clarety Keseke, Evaristo Akerele

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