Crossing borders: trauma and resilience in young refugees : a multimethod study

Many adolescent refugees and asylum seekers have experienced traumatic events. They often suffer from intrusions of these events, and report avoidance behaviors, sleeping problems and hyperarousal. On top of that, they are dealing with many daily stressors caused by their new and marginal social position in the Netherlands. How do these adolescents keep up in the Dutch society?
A long waiting time for a resident permit and uncertainty about the future have a negative influence on their quality of life. However, it is a misinterpretation to qualify these adolescents as passive victims. They also show remarkably high levels of (individual) resilience and even personal growth. Young refugees display, for example, positive changes in interpersonal relationships and self perception. They describe high feelings of responsibility and they are actively engaged with performing at school and participating in the new society to move on and live a meaningful life in the host country.
In this dissertation, we investigated the construct of resilience in adolescent refugees and asylum seekers in the Netherlands. We integrated data from qualitative evidence, questionnaires and DNA analyses. The results demonstrate that these individual adolescents and their social context are very much interrelated. Consequently, resilience in young refugees is influenced by different variables on numerous levels (e.g., individual, family, community). Furthermore, the results showed that not all groups benefit similarly from the same (protective) factors. In the last chapter of this dissertation, we critically review the usefulness of the concept 'resilience' in research and in practical work with young refugees and asylum seekers.


ISBN 9789024409402
s8.6 SLE-I en 8.6 SLE-II

Marieke Sleijpen | 2017
214 | Arq Psychotrauma Expertgroep
Acculturation, Adolescents, Asylum Seekers, Dissertation, Education, Posttraumatic growth, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Potentially Traumatic Events (PTEs), PTSD (DSM-5), Refugees, Resilience, Resilience Scale (RS), Social Support, Stressors, Traumatic events
Placement code: 
s8.6 SLE-I en s8.6 SLE-II
Affiliation author(s):