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An exploration of integration journeys, identity and well-being with Syrian refugee youth

AN EXPLORATION OF INTEGRATION JOURNEYS AND WELL-BEING: A YPAR PROJECT WITH SYRIAN REFUGEE YOUTH uses a youth participatory action research (YPAR) process that engages Syrian youth as co-researchers to examine integration experiences. The proposed study sought to examine from the perspectives of Syrian refugee youth (ages 15 to 22) their integration experiences to better understand protective factors, as well as challenges and vulnerabilities, shaping well-being, identity, and belonging through a YPAR process. A socio-ecological framework was used to explore integration experiences and well-being within contexts of family and peer relationships, schooling and community belonging. Further, an intersectional lens is used to better understand diverse experiences of integration with respect to gender, age, class and pre-migration. The study design was a collaborative, community-based research process. The Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support and Integration MRCSSI works with Western University to recruit Syrian refugee youth (age 15-22) from the London area.

Key overarching research questions guided by the perspective of youth are:
• What protective factors and contexts of vulnerability shape the social integration experiences of Syrian refugee youth?
• And, how can supportive environments (community, school and home) be enhanced to strengthen protective factors and support refugee youth in experiencing increased resilience?

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We would like to thank the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) for funding this study, which is a sub-study of the primary project titled (Child and Youth Refugee Research Coalition) CYRRC.

We also thank the Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support and Integration MRCSSI as a co-applicant and partner on this project for enhancing capacities for community-based and YPAR research.