alexa Official language minority communities in Canada: is linguistic minority status a determinant of mental health?


Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy

Author(s): Puchala C, Leis A, Lim H, Tempier R

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Abstract OBJECTIVES: Language has been identified as a determinant of mental health. Within Canada, individuals may speak an official language and still belong within the linguistic minority (Francophones outside Quebec and Anglophones within Quebec). The objectives of this study were to compare mental health problems between minority and majority official language communities, and examine the association between official language minority and mental health problems. METHODS: Data from the Canadian Community Health Survey, Cycle 1.2 were used to make two comparisons: Francophones to Anglophones within Quebec, and Francophones to Anglophones outside Quebec. Twelve-month and lifetime prevalences of mental disorders (major depressive episode, anxiety disorders, and alcohol/substance abuse/dependence) and mental health indices were compared. Logistic regression analysis examined whether official language minority status was a determinant of mental health. RESULTS: Mental health between minority and majority language groups was similar. Official language minority status was not a significant determinant of mental health. Self-rated mental health indices varied between groups. In some cases, minority language groups reported lower levels of life satisfaction (minority Anglophones versus majority Francophones), while in other cases more majority Anglophones reported poor life satisfaction and mental health (majority Anglophones versus minority Francophones). CONCLUSIONS: Overall, few differences were found between language groups, though variations in self-rated mental health indices were observed. In order to better understand the role of context in determining health outcomes, future research should examine mental health problems among official language minority groups provincially to help stakeholders in directing resources and programs to populations in most need.
This article was published in Can J Public Health and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy

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