Tiger! Tiger! What is the experience of trauma and transition into adulthood of African refugee and asylum-seeking care leavers?

Bolaji, Wuraola (2022) Tiger! Tiger! What is the experience of trauma and transition into adulthood of African refugee and asylum-seeking care leavers? Professional Doctorate thesis, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust / University of Essex. Full text available

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Abstract

This study explores the experiences of trauma and transition into adulthood of African refugee and asylum-seeking care leavers in the UK. It aims to help practitioners better understand the impact of trauma on these young people and give them voice. Giving voice generates better research and develops the confidence of refugees (Temple and Moran, 2006). These young people make perilous journeys to the UK and battle traumatic experiences with the challenges of transitioning in a hostile environment. Supporting them is a challenge for local authorities. Despite these issues, there is little previous research interest about the experiences of trauma and transition into adulthood of African refugee and asylum-seeking care leavers in the UK. Psychoanalytically informed Free Association Narrative Interviews (FANI) were used to explore six young people’s unconscious processes. Cross-case analysis identified similarities in their stories but there were divergences and complexities in their trajectories. The young people felt relieved for telling their stories. Their mental health issues can be difficult to detect and transition into adulthood could deteriorate if faced with restrictions and barriers. Immigration status could impact their trajectories. Pre-migratory trauma, separation from family and adapting to a new system could exacerbate their trauma. They rated emotional support highly and felt that trauma could make them stronger. Their closeness or openness to the researcher is non-linear. The study concluded that the young people’s experience is complex. Practitioners need to be attentive to their inner world and external circumstances to better understand and support them. A more open practice and development of a psychosocial approach is recommended. Also, opportunities for the young people to tell their stories and be treated as individuals. It recommends future comparative study of the experiences and trajectories of young people coming to Western Europe from Africa with those from other continents and between those from British and non-British colonies.

Item Type: Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Additional Information: Thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Essex in collaboration with the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust for the award of Professional Doctorate in advanced practice and research: Social work and social care
Uncontrolled Keywords: Professional Doctorate in in advanced practice and research: Social work and social care, D55
Subjects: Children, Young People and Developmental Pyschology > Emotions
Children, Young People and Developmental Pyschology > Adolescents - Social Welfare
Disabilities & Disorders (mental & physical) > Mental Health - Social Welfare
Groups & Organisations > Refugees - Psychology
Groups & Organisations > Refugees - Social Welfare
Social Welfare > Social Work
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
Research
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/2584

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