Worldwide, about 30 million children are currently forcibly displaced, of which a considerable group is separated from their parent(s) or caregiver(s), “unaccompanied refugee minors” (URM). Forced migration is known to considerably impact URMs’ psychological wellbeing, leading to elevated levels of emotional problems. Both difficult experiencesin URMs’ countries of originand post-migration stressors, such as daily material (limited housing facilities) and social stressors (e.g., limited social network, racism), and inadequate professional support impact theirwellbeing. Yet, little is known about the longitudinal psychological impact of URMs’ transit experiences, during the flight. The objective of this study is therefore is to increase the knowledge about the impact of experiences occurring duringthe flight on the psychological wellbeing of URMs, in relation to the impact of past traumatic experiences in the home country and to daily material and social stressors in the host country.
The research pursues following objectives:
- Increase knowledge about the impact of experiences occurring during the flight on the psychological wellbeing of URMs, in relation to the impact of past traumatic experiences in the home country and to daily material and social stressors in the host country.
- Provide unique insights in the diversity of and evolutions in their experiences while fleeing from home, and the evolutions in their wellbeing.
- Identify the risk factors impacting URMs’ mentalhealth longitudinally, hereby questioning the classical differen-tiation between ‘daily stressors’ and ‘trauma’, possibly evolving towards an elaborated theoretical and empirically validated concept of ‘cumulative trauma’.
- Create ground-breaking avenues to study a group that is difficult to reach and follow, owing to the methodological approach.