Children’s views on their migratory journey: the importance of meaning for better adaptation

Gervais, C., Côté, I., Pomerleau, A., Tardif-Grenier, K., de Montigny, C., Trottier-Cyr, R-P. (2020, novembre)

Children and Youth Services Review

Immigration affects children and teenagers in particular – there are  approximately ten million of them immigrating to new countries every year. The significant amount of stress endured during this transition both directly and indirectly influences the development and well-being of immigrant children. The child’s point of view on migration is, however, largely absent from studies on the subject. This mixed-method study seeks to understand how children adapt to and perceive their immigration. Forty-three recently immigrated children participated in the study. The qualitative and quantitative results highlighted a better adaptation of refugee children than children with economic immigrant status, while the qualitative results revealed differences in migration experiences for these two groups of children, which were rooted in their representations of the motives for immigration, the support they received during the transition, and their feelings related to the migration transition. These results point to the usefulness of interventions with newcomer families to support children’s adaptation to immigration.