Study 3a: Educational and psychosocial transitions encountered by young refugees upon resettlement in Norway: Transitions Upon Resettlement In Norway (TURIN)

Upon resettlement adolescent refugees face a number of critical transitions. Three salient transitions that may facilitate successful resettlement are processes of socialization, i.e. the development from childhood to adulthood, integration, i.e. social inclusion in a new society, and rehabilitation, i.e. the (re)construction of a meaningful life after potentially traumatizing pre-migration events as well as exile-related stress. The developmental and psychosocial transitions that young refugees encounter may not only bring about social adjustment and wellbeing but also increased vulnerability and risk for maladjustment and/or school dropout.

Aims of the study: To gain enhanced knowledge of the educational and psychosocial issues young refugees, accompanied as well as unaccompanied, encounter during resettlement and what they mean regarding their functioning in everyday life in general and school in particular. Moreover, the project will explore the role of schools, family and care arrangements in supporting the young refugees’ development, well-being and social inclusion. The significance of national and local policies as well as municipal practices regarding educational and psychosocial support of young refugee will be investigated too.

Main research question: Which factors may facilitate or impede resettling young refugees’ development, learning and psychosocial wellbeing in school and beyond?

Methods: The study will be conducted in six municipalities in Norway. It comprises individual and group interviews with young refugees (n=48) and significant adults, such as caregivers and professionals involved in school and care provisions. Furthermore, it involves case studies of local policies and practices concerning the resettlement of young refugees, as well as studies of national policy documents. The study will be of an explorative character bringing about new research questions to be further investigated in the present study as well as in the cross-country comparative policy studies (study 2b) and registry studies (study 1).

Researchers: Lutine de Wal Pastoor (Study Coordinator), Ketil Eide, Maria Hernandez Carretero, and Irmelin Kjelaas.

For more information about this study, please contact study coordinator Lutine de Wal Pastoor

Related studies: Apart from the above-mentioned the study Unaccompanied refugee adolescents' access to mental health - possibilities and barriers was conducted in Denmark. The qualitative study investigates what psychosocial factors unaccompanied refugee adolescents perceive as important for their mental health in their everyday lives. The study finds that refugee adolescents' mental health is challenged by several interwoven factors including experiences of stigmatization, loneliness and lack of social support. To address the refugee adolescents' needs more optimal, the results suggest that social and/or physical activities that suit individual needs, must be improved in their daily lives. Interventions must aim at reducing effects of stigma and building a relationship and trust, which is the fundament to support good mental health among refugee adolescents after resettlement.

For more information please contact researcher Frederikke Jarlby