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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3656

Title: Navigating the Social Landscape: A Phenomenological Study Using Movement to Aid in the Adult Recollection of Childhood Immigration Experiences
Authors: Greene, Rachel E.
Keywords: Dance/Movement Therapy;Children;Immigrants;Memory;Phenomenology
Issue Date: 9-Dec-2011
Abstract: The purpose of this research study was to gain greater insight into the lived childhood experience of adults who immigrated to the United States between ages five and ten, with regards to how they learned to navigate social relationships. Immigrant children are often at a social disadvantage due to limited language skills inhibiting their ability to communicate and minimal supports to assist them in coping with challenges. Following resettlement, they may experience discrimination, isolation, and/or rejection in interactions with peers. The lack of peer approval and support during this stage of psychosocial development has serious implications for identity development. Immigrant children are at particular risk for developing mental health issues if adequate family and institutional transitional supports are not in place to assist the acculturation process following resettlement. The study used a qualitative phenomenological design in which participants (n = 3) participated in a group movement workshop designed to facilitate recall of childhood memories from the cultural transition period regarding social interactions with others and were interviewed individually. The primary essences identified by participants were: feeling different, feeling of being misunderstood, standing out, comfort with foreign peers (or those with immigrant parents), confidence of abilities (in the U.S.), feeling of being supported at home, and feeling of being supported in the community. Although participants minimized the role of the group movement process in contributing access to their childhood memories, the detailed accounts of childhood immigration experiences were rife with movement images and references. Although the ability to generalize the findings of this study is limited due to its small sample size, the results have clear implications for transition support. A dance/movement therapy intervention is recommended for use in treatment with immigrants or individuals exploring cultural identity issues.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3656
Appears in Collections:Health Sciences Theses and Dissertations

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