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Positive Worry And Negative Hope Paradoxical Perceptions Of The Experiences Of Syrian Refugee Girls In Lebanon

Dube, A., Bartels, S.A., Michael, S., & Michaelson, V. (2019). Positive worry and negative hope: paradoxical perceptions of the experiences of Syrian refugee girls in Lebanon. Journal of International Humanitarian Action, ePub.


Literature on refugee well-being has largely focused on trauma, stress, and medical diagnoses. Less is known about how refugees adapt to their new contexts and experience hope for the future. This study examines the experiences of Syrian refugee girls in Lebanon through secondary qualitative analysis of SenseMaker® data. From a larger sample (n = 1422), we selected self-interpreted narratives for which there was a discordance between the self-reported emotional tone and self-reported feelings for more in-depth analysis (final sample n = 25). Our purpose was to better understand complex emotional responses to the challenging circumstances the girls experience. In our analysis, we identified three thematic categories related to the complex decisions girls face: education, marriage, and daily life as refugees. In the context of these three categories, we propose that understanding the complexity of emotional responses within a variety of intersecting spheres of life is a necessary first step in establishing realistic, relevant, and long-term community-led initiatives for displaced persons 

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