The Refugee Parenting Experience: From Flight to Resettlement

UoM administered thesis: Doctor of Clinical Psychology

  • Authors:
  • Fay Huntley


Thesis Abstract This thesis forms part of the examination for the Doctor of Clinical Psychology (ClinPsyD) in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health (School of Health Sciences) at The University of Manchester. The aim of the thesis was to explore the parenting experiences of refugees both across the refugee journey and in resettlement contexts. Paper one is a meta-synthesis of qualitative literature exploring parenting experiences for refugees in the resettlement context. Following a standardised approach, six databases were searched and a final sample of 15 papers identified. Using a constructivist approach to interpret the data, five core concepts were identified. The refugee parenting experience in resettlement was conceptualised in terms of a dynamic interplay between resettlement challenges and protective/promotive factors with the concept of support relevant to both aspects. The results highlighted the multiple complexities that refugees must parent through in the resettlement context. Paper two presents a constructivist grounded theory study of the parenting process for Syrian refugee parents who have fled conflict and eventually arrived in the UK. Semi-structured interviews with six health professionals and six refugee parents were conducted and analysed using the constant comparison method, along with the analysis of secondary data, contextual information and theoretical memos. The theory conceptualised the refugee parenting experience as a process of resilient parenting in recovery, with narratives and language as a key mechanism. The results highlighted a recovery process for parents that begins early in the refugee journey and the importance of positive coping factors that can be built on as part of tailored support. Paper three provides a critical reflection of the research process. It includes reflections on the methodological approaches used, strengths, limitations and implications of the findings for research and clinical practice.


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Award date31 Dec 2017