The impact of education and employment quality on self-rated mental health among Syrian refugees in Canada

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By: Jonathan Bridekirk, Michaela Hynie, & SyRIA.lth

Abstract: Finding appropriate employment is a common challenge faced by refugees when resettling in a new country. For refugees with higher education, finding work commensurate with their skills and qualifications may be even more difficult. Refugees with higher education may experience more distress around employment because their expectations for employment are more discrepant from the realities of resettlement. As part of the SyRIA.lth project, the present study looked at employment rates and job quality of Syrian refugees resettling in Canada (Nā€‰=ā€‰1805). Moderately and highly educated participants were more likely to be employed than those with less than high school education. Among those currently employed 2 to 3 years after arrival (nā€‰=ā€‰627), moderately and highly educated participants reported lower job satisfaction, quality, and appropriateness compared to those with lower education. As expected, employed former refugees with high education reported poorer mental health which was explained by the job quality measures.

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