The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of unaccompanied immigrant youth. The sample consisted of 31 participants from El Salvador, Guatemala, or Honduras. Qualitative data were gathered through hand-written journals.
Reasons for immigration were family reunification, escaping harm, and better opportunities. Challenges during the journey included hunger, witnessing the mistreatment of women, physical illness, exhaustion, and confrontation with federales. Helpful resources were family, monetary support, and coyotes.
Challenges while acclimating to life in the United States included adjusting to new family dynamics and learning English. Others reported their concern about family members back home who were in danger. Several mentioned personal strengths, such as dedication to their family, drive to pursue an education, and faith and spirituality.
The results suggest that social workers should provide interventions with sensitivity to the unique experiences of these youth, as well as advocate for policy changes to assist this vulnerable population.
|Commitee:||Brocato, Jo, Wilson, Steve|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|Department:||Social Work, School of|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 56/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Immigrant, Journals, Minors, Qualitative, Unaccompanied|
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