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The Effects of Refugeedom on Adolescents in Greece and the UK: Negative Responses, Resilience and Adversity-activated Development.

Chondrou, Fani (2019) The Effects of Refugeedom on Adolescents in Greece and the UK: Negative Responses, Resilience and Adversity-activated Development. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Adolescent refugees may endure multiple adversities, experiencing pain and suffering and occasionally more severe psychological distress or psychopathology as a response to their circumstance. At the same time, they may prove incredibly resilient or develop positively exactly because of these adversities, what Papadopoulos (2007) calls adversity-activated development (AAD). This study explores adolescent refugees’ responses to their predicament and the factors contributing to them. The data was collected by semi-structured interviews with 17 refugee adolescents (age range = 14-19) living in Greece and the UK. The thematic analysis of the research data corroborates the three different categories of responses to refugee adversities, i.e. negative, resilient and positive ones, according to the Adversity Grid (Papadopoulos, 2007). This is the first time that a research using the Adversity Grid has been applied to refugee adolescents, adding to the existing body of research on the Grid as well as on adolescent refugees. The analysis also confirmed a series of intrapersonal, interpersonal and sociopolitical factors that interweave adolescents’ attribution of meaning and affect their responses to adversity. In addition to these variables, adolescence-specific characteristics, protective influences and vulnerabilities, which interact to synthesise the specificity of the position of the adolescent refugee, are presented as contributing factors to their responses. Refugee adolescents undergo multiple transitions and dealing with them seems to have positive implications for some and negative for others. Adolescence-specific tasks, including identity building and individuation also appear to create both negative and positive conditions that affected the research participants’ responses to adversities, depending on whether they perceived the refugee experience as an extra burden challenging these tasks or as an opportunity for growing into strong, mature, independent beings. Moreover, adolescence-normative characteristics, including omnipotence and narcissism, appear to buffer some of the participants against the negative effects of refugeedom, while they result in deeper vulnerability for others. These results highlight the research participants’ uniqueness and the complexity of their experiences and responses, indicating that the detrimental effects of the refugee experience and the manifestation of resilience and AAD are not mutually exclusive.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, Department of
Depositing User: Fani Chondrou
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2019 16:15
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2019 16:15

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