Publication

Stress and problem behavior of immigrant youth in Austria

Publication, 2012

Outline

E. Stefanek - Stress and problem behavior of immigrant youth in Austria - Phd Thesis, Universität Wien, Austria, 2012, pp. 88

Abstract

The dissertation investigated stress and internalizing and externalizing problem behavior of youth living in culturally plural Austria. The first study compared levels of depressive symptoms, critical live events, and daily hassles in natives, first and second generation immigrant adolescents Furthermore, the associations between these constructs were tested in the three groups. The second study investigated whether the goal to be accepted by friends was a motive for aggressive behavior, and whether this motiv is more predictive than reactive aggression for first generation immigrant adolescents compared with second generation immigrant and native adolescents. The third study analyzed risk and protective factors for bullying and victimization on the individual and the class level in ethnically diverse schools. The samples derived from a big international study investigating the social and emotional situation of youth living in Austria, comprising 759 students (study 1, study 2) and a national intervention evaluation study in Austria, comprising 1450 students (study 3). For data analysis multiple group structural equation modeling and hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) were applied. Results showed that first generation immigrant adolescents reported more depressive symptoms and that daily hassles fully mediated the path between critical live events and depressive symptoms in all groups of adolescents. The second study yielded that the goal to be accepted was a stronger predictor than reactive aggression for aggressive behavior in first generation immigrant compared with second generation immigrants and natives. Concerning contextual influences, results showed that a positive class climate was most preventive for bullying and victimization.