Transition to adulthood: experiences of unaccompanied asylum seekers in the UK

Prof Doc Thesis

Sweet, Rebecca Ruth 2010. Transition to adulthood: experiences of unaccompanied asylum seekers in the UK. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsSweet, Rebecca Ruth
TypeProf Doc Thesis

This qualitative study with unaccompanied young people seeking asylum in the
UK explores experiences of transition to adulthood. After describing relevant
policies and background information, a literature review shows a need for an indepth
psychological exploration of young people's experiences as they
approach adulthood. Eight male participants aged 15-20 years old, originally
from Afghanistan and Iraq, were recruited through a community organisation
and social services, and were interviewed in English or with interpreters.
Interviews were transcribed and data analysed using interpretative
phenomenological analysis. The analysis resulted in the data being organised
around five themes; loss, uncertainty, living in the present, loneliness and
negotiating adulthood. These are discussed in the context of relevant literature,
using transcript extracts to illustrate themes. The research is critically evaluated,
and the meaning of validity in research conducted from a contextualist position
is discussed, as well as the influence of the interpreters and researcher on the
process. Overall, the findings support research that has suggested that
transition to adulthood may present particular challenges to unaccompanied
minors' emotional wellbeing, and detail is provided about these. Implications for
direct and indirect clinical work, service organisation and policy are discussed.
The findings support the aims articulated in recent social care policy for carerelated
transitions to happen later and more gradually for care-leavers. In terms
of asylum policy, the findings suggest that the prospect of forced returns is
detrimental to psychological wellbeing, as is lack of certain asylum status.

Publication dates
PrintAug 2010
Publication process dates
Deposited09 Jun 2014
Additional information

This thesis supplied via ROAR to UEL-registered users is protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights, and duplication of any part of the material is not permitted, except for your personal use for the purposes of non-commercial research and private study in electronic or print form. You must obtain permission from the copyright-holder for any other use. Electronic or print copies may not be offered, for sale or otherwise, to anyone. No quotation from the thesis may be published without proper acknowledgement.

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