Religion in the lives of unaccompanied minors: an available and compelling coping resource

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Title: Religion in the lives of unaccompanied minors: an available and compelling coping resource
Authors: Ní Raghallaigh, Muireann
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Date: Apr-2011
Abstract: Anecdotal evidence suggests that religion plays an important role in the lives of asylum seekers and refugees. However, little research has been conducted in this area. Drawing on the work of Pargament (1997) and on interviews undertaken with unaccompanied minors living in the Republic of Ireland, this article shows how religious coping is both a ‘relatively available’ and a 'relatively compelling' way for these young people to deal with the challenges that they face. Religious faith and practice served as a source of continuity in their lives, with belief in God representing something familiar within a largely unfamiliar context. In addition, the young people’s relationships with God provided them with a sense of meaning and comfort and an increased sense of control. Overall, religious coping helped the young people to deal with the challenging circumstances with which they were faced. The findings suggest that the religious beliefs of asylum seeking and other social work clients need to be better understood so that these beliefs can be appropriately integrated into practice situations.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Journal: British Journal of Social Work
Volume: 41
Issue: 3
Start page: 539
End page: 556
Copyright (published version): © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The British Association of Social Workers.
Keywords: ResilienceReligious copingUnaccompanied minorsReligion and spirituality
DOI: 10.1093/bjsw/bcq136
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed 2014-02-28T09:39:51Z
Appears in Collections:Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice Research Collection

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