Emotional and Behavioral Difficulties and Academic Achievement in Immigrant Adolescents in Special Education

Rousseau, C.; Mustafa, S.; Beauregard, C. (2015)

World Journal of Education

5(5) | 21

The literature emphasizes that the school environment is a key factor for the mental health and academic achievementof immigrant and refugee children. However, few studies examined the role of school environment and peerrelationships for these youth attending a special education class. The aim of this paper is to study the associationbetween emotional difficulties and academic performance and their correlates in first and second generationimmigrants assigned to a special class in a multiethnic environment. The results emphasize the need to adopt aneco-systemic model to understand the complex and probably bidirectional relations between the mental healthsymptoms and academic performance in immigrant adolescents identified as having difficulties by the school system.The salience of peer relations and classroom environment suggests that schools need to promote positive school-basedrelationships to improve immigrant adolescent mental health.