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Psychosocial Adaptation and School Success of Italian, Portuguese and Albanian Students in Switzerland: Disentangling Migration Background, Acculturation and the School Context

Andrea Haenni Hoti (), Sybille Heinzmann (), Marianne Müller () and Alois Buholzer ()
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Andrea Haenni Hoti: University of Teacher Education of Lucerne
Sybille Heinzmann: University of Teacher Education of Lucerne
Marianne Müller: University of Teacher Education of Lucerne
Alois Buholzer: University of Teacher Education of Lucerne

Journal of International Migration and Integration, 2017, vol. 18, issue 1, No 5, 85-106

Abstract: Abstract The Swiss Mutual Intercultural Relations in Plural Societies (MIRIPS) study (n = 1,488) examined the impact of migrant students’ acculturation strategies on their psychosocial adaptation and educational success. The study focused on the comparison of students with an Italian, Portuguese and Albanian migration background, because these three groups differ in their socioeconomic living conditions, educational resources and opportunities in Switzerland according to official statistics. With respect to acculturation strategies, the results partially confirm the integration hypothesis: immigrant students who are oriented towards the heritage culture and students who align with both the heritage culture and the majority culture (integration) and who are interested in their multicultural environment have a better psychosocial adaptation than students who align with no culture (marginalisation). In relation to educational success, a multicultural orientation and a combination of a minority and multicultural orientation turned out to be the strategies of the higher-performing students. Unexpectedly, the three groups of migrants examined in this study did not differ in their life satisfaction, an indicator for psychological adaptation or in their educational success in terms of educational aspirations and German reading skills. Rather than the migration background of the students, other demographic variables such as educational resources of the family as well as factors related to school quality (type of school, quality of social relationships, achievement expectancy of teachers, multicultural education at school) turned out to be crucial for psychosocial adaptation and educational success.

Keywords: Migration; Acculturation; Youth; Adaptation; Educational success; School (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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DOI: 10.1007/s12134-015-0461-x

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