Negative Social Interactions at the Intersection of Gender, Race and Immigration Status in Canada

Deng Min Chuang*, Vivian W.Y. Leung, Yu Lung, Lin Fang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Negative social interactions (NSIs), defined as upsetting interpersonal encounters in daily life, are associated with adverse mental health conditions. Guided by an intersectional perspective, this study explored the impacts of gender, race and immigration status on the experiences of NSIs, using nationally representative data from the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey-Mental Health (CCHS-MH). The sample consisted of 21,932 participants across Canada. Gender-specific multivariable logistic regression models were used to estimate the effects of race, immigrant status and the interaction term on the likelihood to experience NSIs. Study results showed that women (32.3 per cent) reported significantly more NSIs than men (25.4 per cent). For men, being an immigrant was significantly associated with a lower likelihood of experiencing NSIs; race did not have a significant effect on NSIs. Furthermore, the results revealed that racialised Canadian-born women were more likely to report NSIs than racialised immigrant women, whilst immigration status had no effect among white women. This study suggests the distinct influences of intersecting identities of race, gender and immigration status and that social workers should incorporate an intersectional lens when exploring clients' social relationships and environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2057-2078
Number of pages22
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jun 1


  • gender
  • immigrant
  • intersectionality
  • negative social interactions
  • race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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