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"I like it here because I have to." Migration and Adolescent Identity Formation: Exploring the Experiences of Students in a London School

Gilsenan, James; (2018) "I like it here because I have to." Migration and Adolescent Identity Formation: Exploring the Experiences of Students in a London School. Doctoral thesis (D.Ed.Psy), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This study aims to explore the life experiences of migrant adolescents of Latin American heritage, with a particular focus on the personal influence of migration on their identity formation. Previous research has demonstrated that this is an area of difficulty for adolescents who have experienced international migration during their childhood years, and highlighted its impact on mental health. My aim is to shine a light on the experiences of this under-researched group of adolescents, helping to identify both the positives and difficulties of migration from their perspective, and to develop a more detailed knowledge of psychosocial developmental processes in migrant adolescents, using Erikson’s psychosocial theory as a framework. Semi-structured qualitative interviews, employing narrative and visual approaches were conducted with nine students in a London secondary school. Thematic analysis of this data has resulted in the development of six key themes, which centre around the topics of discrimination, loss, cultural adaptation, reduced freedom and pressure to succeed. These were presented back to the original research participants for feedback and development through a process of member reflection, to ensure that their voices are represented faithfully. Implications for practice are discussed, with the aim of influencing how Educational Psychologists, teachers and other professionals work with this group of young people in a way that promotes positive outcomes in an academic, social and psychological sense. These include ways in which discrimination can be challenged and reduced within schools, as well as approaches to facilitating the healthy identity formation of migrant students and responding to issues within families and the broader environment that can provide a barrier to this.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: D.Ed.Psy
Title: "I like it here because I have to." Migration and Adolescent Identity Formation: Exploring the Experiences of Students in a London School
Event: UCL (University College London) Institute of Education
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10053603
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