Psychological distress by age at migration and duration of residence in Sweden

Honkaniemi, H., Juárez, S. P., Katikireddi, S. V. and Rostila, M. (2020) Psychological distress by age at migration and duration of residence in Sweden. Social Science and Medicine, 250, 112869. (doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2020.112869) (PMID:32120203)

210759.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.



Migrants suffer from worse psychological health than natives in many countries, yet the extent to which this varies by age at migration and duration of residence in the receiving context remains unexplored in Sweden. Drawing on a life course approach, we investigate differences in psychological distress by age at migration and duration of residence in working-age migrants to Sweden, and examine the role of various social determinants of health in explaining these differences relative to Swedish-born. Using pooled cross-sectional data from the 2011/2015 Health on Equal Terms survey in Västra Götaland Region, Sweden (n = 58,428), we applied logistic regression analysis to calculate predicted probabilities and average marginal effects (AME) of migrant status, by age at migration and duration of residence, on psychological distress. Analyses were stratified by sex and region of origin and controlled for indicators of socioeconomic status (SES), social cohesion, and discrimination to assess their potential contribution to differences in migrants' and natives' psychological distress. All migrants except men from OECD-predominant regions had a greater probability of psychological distress than Swedish-born (ranging from AME 0.031 [95% Confidence Interval or CI 0.000–0.062] for OECD women to AME 0.115 [95% CI 0.074–0.156] for non-OECD men). Marginal effects of migration status on psychological distress probabilities generally increased with age at migration and duration of residence. Differences between migrants and natives were largely attenuated after controlling for social determinants, the greatest contribution coming from inequalities in social cohesion, followed by inequalities in discrimination and SES. Our results suggest a relative health advantage of early-life compared to later-life migration, albeit with worse outcomes with longer residence in Sweden. The predominance of integration opportunities in childhood strengthens calls for supportive policies to assist older migrants' integration directly upon arrival, which may ultimately improve their psychological wellbeing.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:All authors are funded by the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Social Research (FORTE) (#2016–07128). SVK also acknowledges funding from a NRS Senior Clinical Fellowship (SCAF/15/02), the Medical Research Council (MC_UU_12017/13 & MC_UU_12017/15), and the Scottish Government Chief Scientist Office (SPHSU13 & SPHSU15).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Katikireddi, Professor Vittal
Creator Roles:
Katikireddi, S. V.Methodology, Supervision, Writing – review and editing
Authors: Honkaniemi, H., Juárez, S. P., Katikireddi, S. V., and Rostila, M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Social Science and Medicine
ISSN (Online):0277-9536
Published Online:20 February 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Social Science and Medicine 250:112869
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record

Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
727651SPHSU Core Renewal: Measuring and Analysing Socioeconomic Inequalities in Health Research ProgrammeAlastair LeylandMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/13IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
727671SPHSU Core Renewal: Informing Healthy Public Policy Research ProgrammePeter CraigMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/15IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
172690Understanding the impacts of welfare policy on health: A novel data linkage studySrinivasa KatikireddiChief Scientist Office (CSO)SCAF/15/02HW - Public Health
Chief Scientist Office (CSO)SPHSU13
Chief Scientist Office (CSO)SPHSU15