Abstract: This article explores the potential inclusion and exclusion factors affecting the developmental outcomes of immigrant children, and examines the influence of inclusive school environment, social/psychological isolation, and perceived discrimination by peers and teachers on the psychosocial and academic adjustment of immigrant children. Our study is based on a subset of data from the New Canadian Children and Youth Study (NCCYS), a national longitudinal survey including 515 foreign-born immigrant children (11 to 13 years) from three ethnic groups (Mainland China, Hong Kong, the Philippines) living in the Montreal and Toronto metropolitan areas, Canada. The results show that after controlling for socio-demographic background variables, teachers’ discriminatory attitudes and psychological isolation contribute to the prediction of risk for immigrant children’s self-esteem, social competence, and academic performance. Inclusive school environment has a significant effect on social competence and academic performance of immigrant children. Peer discrimination is also associated with self-esteem and social competence. These findings suggest that inclusive school environment, social/psychological isolation, and discrimination are critical factors affecting the developmental outcomes of immigrant children that, in turn, are connected to future prospects for their eventual inclusion and participation in other social, economic, and political venues of the host country.
Keywords: immigrant children; discrimination; psychological isolation; school environment; social isolation