Objective : The purpose of this study was to identify and assess the relative importance of predictors of the self-rated adjustment and psychiatric morbidity of recent Chinese migrants.
Method: Chinese migrants (n = 271) living in Auckland and aged 15 years or older completed a postal questionnaire that included the Chinese Health Questionnaire (CHQ). The majority of respondents came from Hong Kong and Taiwan .
Results: Most respondents did not report major adjustment problems. The psychiatric morbidity rate was 19%. Major predictors of experiencing problems included rejection by locals, being aged 26–35 years or over 45years and low English proficiency. Major predictors of poor adjustment included unemployment, low English proficiency, lack of university education, younger age, shorter residency, expectations not met and regrets about coming to New Zealand. Predictors of minor mental disorder included regretting coming, female gender and younger age. For migrants resident 2years or less, unemployment and underemployment were additional risk factors. Mothers with absent husbands and young people with absent parents also had elevated rates of mental disorder.
Conclusions: Although the overall prevalence of mental disorder for this sample of recent migrants appears to be similar to that of the general population, significant risk factors were identified. The findings extend knowledge of the adjustment and the mental health of migrants and provide potential focal points for primary and secondary prevention interventions.