An exploratory study on Toronto's immigrant youth's adaptation: A focus on social support

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Remy, Daniella
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University of Guelph

This study focused on how social support, mainly peer and mentor friendships, affect the adaptational outcomes of immigrant youth in Toronto. Seventy-five students (50 female and 25 male) from Ryerson University, Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning and the University of Guelph-Humber who immigrated to Canada during adolescence responded anonymously to an on-line questionnaire. Questions focused on participants' ethnic identity, current level of self-acceptance, and current level of social support as well as the nature of supports and resources participants had upon arriving to Canada and when settling in. The purpose of this study was to assess what factors upon arrival to Canada and during adolescence have an effect on immigrants' social relationships and how these, in turn, may have influenced the self-acceptance of the participating immigrants to Canada. Findings indicate that self-acceptance was mostly related to constant positive support from family as well as current perceived social support from friends. Relationships with mentors, though helpful for many, did not have a significant relationship with self-acceptance. Theories on friendship development and the role mentors play in the adjustment process are also presented as well as recommendations for future research and program and policy implications.

Toronto, immigrant youth, adaptation, social support, self-acceptance