Title page for ETD etd-06122007-174354


Type of Document Dissertation
Author Kelly, Michele
URN etd-06122007-174354
Title The Experiences of Refugee Youth from the Conflicts in the Sudan: A Collective Case Study
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Human Ecology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Pamela Ann Monroe Committee Chair
Ioan I. Negulescu Committee Member
Joan Hymel Benedict Committee Member
Mary E. Garrison Committee Member
Lisa K. Lundy Dean's Representative
Keywords
  • resilience
  • refugee youth
  • surrogate families
  • children and political violence
Date of Defense 2007-04-23
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the role of familial protective factors in moderating the relationship between risk and resilience in Sudanese refugee youth exposed to political violence. Interviews, direct observations, and physical artifacts were the sources of data. Eight “Lost Boys” participated in the study, providing narratives of their experiences of the Sudanese civil wars. They also answered questions posed about the role of familial protective factors in moderating the relationship between risk and resilience. The interviews were recorded on audiotape and then transcribed. Data consisted of the transcripts and field notes of processes and observations. The field notes also included the Contact Summary Form, and when a physical artifact was obtained, an Art Work Analysis Form. The transcripts and field notes were later analyzed and coded.

Eventually themes emerged. The results of the study indicate that familial protective factors play a role in moderating the relationship between risk and resilience in Sudanese refugee youth exposed to political violence. However, not all familial protective factors play a role nor those that do play a role do so equally. Some factors were more important than others as indicated by their frequency of being mentioned by the participants. Also, familial protective factors do not play a sole or primary role in moderating the relationship between risk and resilience. It appeared that initially familial protective factors were the sole protective mechanism. However, once the youth were separated from their families of origin and, given their extreme circumstances and need for protection and support, they quickly sought and developed other sources of support. Given the presence of their peers and little else as potential sources of support it seems natural that the peer group evolved as a surrogate family over a period of time. Eventually, the participants come to rely on their peers/surrogate family as their primary source of support. Finally, implications and recommendations for policy, practice, and future research were noted.

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