The parenting process in Syrian refugees: A grounded theory study

Fay Huntley, Rachel Calam, Fiona Ulph*, Aala El-Khani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

A key concern of peace psychology is to develop a robust evidence base that informs those working with groups who have experienced the impact of war and conflict (Cohrs et al., American Psychologist, 2013, 68, 590). With rates of refugees forcibly displaced now the highest on record the development of psychosocial interventions designed to promote well-being is essential (Hynie, Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 2018, 24, 265; UNHCR, UNHCR projected global resettlement needs, 2020). This is highly relevant for refugee parents who must parent through multiple adversities and transitions. Effective parenting is an important protective factor for the psychological functioning of refugee children. The design of support for families, to be available during displacement and the integration process, is essential because inclusion and participation in new settings Syrian refugee parenting through transition; from being forced to leave Syria to eventually being resettled in the U.K. In-depth interviews with six professionals who worked with refugee parents and six Syrian refugee parents were conducted and analyzed. Secondary data with narratives from three Syrian parents and transcripts from a parent focus group of nine parents were analyzed. We theorized an active process of resilient parenting in recovery. The process comprised of three phases: Contracting, reforming, and moving forward. Parents moved between phases at different points in their journey. A core role for language was identified. The findings suggest that the development and use of resilience-based narratives may be helpful. This would represent a relatively resource-light intervention to support parental capacity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-80
Number of pages14
JournalPeace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • refugee parenting
  • grounded theory
  • parenting process
  • resilience
  • language


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