Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Dr. Jessica Polzer


Highly skilled professionals are often forced to accept jobs below their educational levels after they immigrate and may experience a downward shift both in their career and in their quality of life. This has particular implications for highly skilled immigrant women who strive to maintain their professional identities and balance the demands of family and work. Using a scoping review methodology, this thesis explored the settlement experiences of professional immigrant women in Canada, USA, UK and Australia and how these influence their health and well being. Close readings of the peer-reviewed literature revealed seven themes that relate to the experience of settlement and its influence on the health of professional immigrant women: (i) discrimination; (ii) deskilling; (iii) professional immigrant women as trailing spouses; (iv) lack of social support; (v) difficulties related to cultural and environmental adjustment; (vi) impact of immigration on physical and psychological health; and (vii) positive and ambivalent experiences.