Comparing the life satisfaction of older immigrants and refugees to Canadian-born older adults: the role of immigrant admission classes

Publication type
Journal article
Morassaei S, Smith PM, Wilson K, Ghahari S
Date published
2023 May 01
Clinical Gerontologist
epub ahead of print
Open Access?

OBJECTIVES: Immigrant admission classes represent different entry routes to Canada and potential divergent pathways for later-life well-being. This study examined later-life satisfaction, an important correlate of well-being, comparing levels between Canadian-born older adults with those of older immigrants and refugees by admission class and considering the role of residency time in Canada. METHODS: This study used data from the Canadian Community Health Survey (2009-2014) linked to landing records for those 55 years and older. Regression models explored the association between admission class and later-life satisfaction adjusting for covariates and stratified by residency time in Canada. RESULTS: After accounting for a range of demographic, socioeconomic, and health characteristics, economic class principal applicants and refugees had significantly lower life satisfaction than Canadian-born older adults. The negative association with life satisfaction among economic class principal applicants persisted even after accounting for residency time in Canada. CONCLUSIONS: Both admission class and length of residency in Canada are associated with levels of later-life satisfaction. Future studies should look beyond aggregated measures of immigrant status when examining determinants of well-being in later-life. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Vulnerable subgroups of immigrants and refugees are at risk of experiencing lower later-life satisfaction and adverse later-life outcomes