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Developing our knowledge of resilience: the experiences of adults seeking asylum

Thompson, Christopher 2017. Developing our knowledge of resilience: the experiences of adults seeking asylum. ClinPsy Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Asylum seekers undergo immense hardship involving a unique set of circumstances during the asylum application process, but we know very little about their experiences and how asylum seekers cope. There are few studies which have explored the experiences of asylum seekers during the asylum application process, and fewer which have investigated resilience in asylum seekers. A systematic review and meta-analysis investigated the efficacy of psychological interventions for treating post-traumatic stress disorder in asylum seekers and refugees. This qualitative study used a Constructivist Grounded Theory method to explore asylum seekers’ experiences during the asylum application process with a focus on factors affecting resilience. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 adult asylum seekers in the UK. Participants’ length of time in the UK ranged from 1 month to over 10 years. The interviews were recorded and transcribed, and data analysed using inductive analysis and constant comparison strategies. A constructivist grounded theory was presented diagrammatically and narratively to describe findings. The main constructed categories were ‘systemic hardship’, ‘factors that inhibit coping’ and ‘factors that enhance coping’. Experiences of ‘not being believed’ and ‘uncertainty for the future and safety’ were linked with the asylum process and an insecure asylum status. Individual resources identified included understanding of trauma, its impact on wellbeing, and of coping strategies. Trauma and hardship could lead to fear, distrust of others, social isolation, and personal shrinkage whereas, access to community resources seemed to increase individual resources and lead to personal growth. The theory outlined understandings of how individual factors, environmental factors, and community resources may affect the resilience and wellbeing of participants. Theory has important implications for policy, services, clinical practice, and research.

Item Type: Thesis (DClinPsy)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Asylum seekers, refugees, post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD, psychological intervention, systematic review, meta-analysis, grounded theory, resilience, coping, personal shrinkage, personal growth
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 October 2017
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2021 15:32

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