Congratulations to Marie-Pier Joly who will begin a postdoctoral research position at the University of Göttingen in August. Marie-Pier defended her dissertation, Contexts of Exit and the Mental Health and Economic Incorporation of Migrants in Canada, earlier this summer under the supervision of Blair Wheaton, Patricia Landolt (co-supervisors) and Jeff Reitz. The thesis abstract is as follows:
My dissertation explores the impact of contexts of exit on the mental health and economic incorporation of migrants living in Canada, with a specific emphasis on the impact of armed conflicts and human rights violations in countries of origin. The first paper in my dissertation explores the impact of armed conflict according to varying defining characteristics such as severity of the conflict and intra- vs. inter-state focus and finds that migrants from countries with severe intrastate conflict have worse mental health than migrants from countries with no to minor armed conflict and the native-born. The impact of armed conflicts differs by gender, with women experiencing more depressive symptoms and men experiencing more anxiety symptoms. The second paper shows that the impact of armed conflicts is similar to, but does not replace, the impact of human rights violations in countries of origin. The impact of human rights violations is not more pronounced in situations of armed conflicts, and on its own, human rights violations have essentially similar long-term impact on the mental health of migrants as armed conflicts. Each of the first two papers demonstrates that armed conflicts and human rights violations in countries of origin often provoke multiple stressful life events and conditions during the life span that can have cumulative mental health consequences for migrants. The last paper in my dissertation explores the employment and occupational status of migrants from armed conflict countries. It finds that in spite of their high levels of education in Canada, migrants from armed conflict countries experience more difficulties in finding employment, particularly in the early years after migration, and in general achieve lower levels of occupational status, given their education, relative to other migrants and the native-born. When migrants come from countries in conflict, there appears to be an additional discount applied to their job market options after migration. Specifically, education completed prior to migration translates less often into employment success in this group.
At the University of Göttingen, Marie-Pier will study the impact of armed conflict on the mental health of migrants from Muslim-majority countries who live in Canada, the United States, France and Germany. In this project, she will consider the simultaneous impact of variation in the existence of internal conflicts in countries of origin with variation in the context of reception. While there, Marie-Pier will also contribute to a collaborative research project conducting survey research on new migrants and refugees in Germany.