American Sociological Association

The Impact of Armed Conflict in the Country of Origin on Mental Health after Migration to Canada

This article examines mental health differences among migrants who emigrated from both armed conflict countries and non–conflict countries versus native-born Canadians. We propose that the impact of armed conflict on mental health depends on defining characteristics of the conflict. Our analysis of migrants to Toronto, Canada, suggests that exposure to major intrastate conflicts have long-term impacts on depression among women and anxiety levels among men after migration. We assess the role of different stages and types of stress proliferation in explaining these differences. Postmigratory chronic stress helps explain differences in depression between migrant women who experienced conflict and both those who did not and Canadian-born women. Conversely, traumatic stress that occurred during the ongoing armed conflict at time of migration helped explain differences in anxiety between migrant men exposed to conflict and both migrant men not exposed and Canadian-born men.


Joly, M.-P., Wheaton, B.





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