Young people with international migration experiences constitute an increasing proportion of the population in many European countries. In Austria, a substantial proportion of these international migrants come from Turkey. In Turkey, many adolescents are national migrants, having moved from the eastern part to the western part of the country. This study compares the impact of national and international migration experiences on the levels of emotional difficulties (depression, anxiety, loneliness and self-esteem) and peer victimisation, and tests whether emotional difficulties help to explain the associations between migration experiences and peer victimisation. In Austria, a total of 379 non-migrant Austrians, 82 first generation and 202 second generation international migrants from Turkey; and in Turkey, 990 non-migrant Turks and 501 national migrants participated; they were in two age cohorts (12 and 15 years). In line with the predictions of the acculturative stress model, national and first generation international migrants had higher levels of depression and social anxiety and lower levels of self esteem compared to non-migrant Austrians, while no differences were found for second generation international migrants. Unexpectedly, all four Turkish groups were less likely to be victimised compared to the non-migrant Austrian group. In line with the predictions, high levels of social anxiety and depression helped to explain high levels of victimisation, but only among youth who experienced resettlement (e.g. national and first generation international migrants), indicating that acculturative stress works as a risk factor for peer victimisation.
- social anxiety