Voices rarely heard: personal construct assessments of Sub-Saharan unaccompanied asylum-seeking and refugee youth in England

Thommessen, S., Corcoran, P. & Todd, B. (2017). Voices rarely heard: personal construct assessments of Sub-Saharan unaccompanied asylum-seeking and refugee youth in England. Children and Youth Services Review, doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2017.08.017

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Unaccompanied refugee minors are particularly vulnerable to stress and risk during the journey to asylum-countries and in the post-migration environment. This study aimed to determine ways in which positive post-migration development and integration could be achieved for this group. Thematic analysis of interviews based on Personal Construct assessments reflected young asylum-seeking and refugee individuals' experiences of their social situation in England. Participants emphasised the importance of social support as a means for hope, as an escape from distress and as an opportunity to form relationships that resembled family bonds. They expressed their desire to move forward and to achieve their goals, as well as their fear of rejections and issues related to trust. The participants' voices illustrate areas where gaps remain to be filled in terms of providing sufficient support to unaccompanied minors and youth in England, with implications for future research, policy and practice. The importance of providing unaccompanied children and youth with an opportunity to engage in meaningful activities with peers and adults is demonstrated and the need to provide initiatives that seek to prevent discrimination is highlighted.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2017, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Uncontrolled Keywords: Unaccompanied youth; Refugees; Asylum-seekers; Personal construct theory; Qualitative findings
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Divisions: School of Social Sciences > Department of Psychology
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/18047

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