Hope as a Crucial Factor in Integration Among Unaccompanied Immigrant Youth in the USA: A Pilot Project

Author(s): Jayshree JANI ; Dawnya UNDERWOOD ; Jessica RANWEILER



In 2014, 53,518 unaccompanied immigrant youth, predominantly from Central America, arrived in the USA. By mid-2015, over 12,000 had already arrived (Office of Refugee Resettlement 2015). Despite experiencing a myriad of risk factors and challenges, these children display remarkable resiliency. An important component of this resiliency which, in turn, enhances the well-being of these populations, is the maintenance of hope. This paper reports on a study conducted in spring 2013 on the presence of hope among 138 unaccompanied immigrant children, ages 9–18, receiving services from 20 affiliates of a family reunification program in 12 states in the USA. The study found that children reported a high level of hope on the Children’s Hope Scale (Snyder et al., New York Free Press 1994; Psychological Inquiry 13(4):249, 2002). This article reports on these findings and discusses their implications for policy, practice, and research.

Tags: Children, Immigrant, Refugee, Central America, Youth, Hope, Resilience

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