"A Home of My Own": The Experience of Children of International Migrants

Noa Winer, Orit Nuttman-Shwartz, Ephrat Huss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

There is a lack of research on children’s acculturation processes following international migration. As such, this article presents a study conducted among 10 latency-age children (10–11 years old), living in Israel, whose parents were work migrants/refugees/asylum seekers, via their artwork and through the lens of Bronfenbrenner’s ecological model. The findings revealed that the migrant children expressed their acculturation and sense of belonging to the host country through three main themes: (1) a longing to have a room of their own; (2) a wish to separate and individuate, as is typical of pre-adolescents and adolescents universally; and (3) the need to rely on their youth movement as an alternative to the family and as a bridge to Israeli society. An examination of the weaknesses of the children’s microsystems and mesosystems highlights the need for continued efforts to strengthen their connection with the macrosystem, which provides them with a sense of home. Findings suggest that art is a useful mode of expression that can help migrant children explore their past, present, and future lives. They also highlight the importance of changing existing exclusionist policies in order to improve migrant children's sense of belonging and security.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-335
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Social Work Journal
Volume49
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • Acculturation
  • Art therapy
  • International migration
  • Latency-age children

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