Understanding the Perspectives of Refugee Unaccompanied Minors Using a Computer-Assisted Interview

Jeanette A. Lawrence, Ida Kaplan, Amy H. Collard


This article reports analyses of the perspectives on their wellbeing expressed by four unaccompanied minor refugees resettling in Australia. We used a computer-assisted interview (CAI) to set up a research environment to facilitate young people's expressions and to treat them and their expressed perspectives with respect and integrity. Participants' data are represented in tables as full transcripts with CAI questions and tasks, and are analyzed using exegetical textual analysis. Analyses reveal similarities and differences in young people's themes and personalized concerns in relation to their life circumstances in resettlement. All four unaccompanied minors were worried about the families from whom they were isolated. Two young women who were humanitarian refugees were preoccupied with family separation and reunion, and also with their own inner states and behavior. Two young men who had been asylum seekers were focused on family and their own educational advancement. The value of the CAI approach is discussed in relation to criticisms of reductionism in quantitative and qualitative data; its ability to support young refugees to express their views with agency and confidence; and the representation of young people's expressed perspectives as a basis for understanding and for supportive programs.

URN: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs160268


computer-assisted interview; unaccompanied minors; wellbeing; goals; worry; refugee young people; textual analysis

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17169/fqs-17.2.2483

Copyright (c) 2016 Jeanette A. Lawrence, Ida Kaplan, Amy H. Collard

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