Tommaso Fratini, Paola Bastianoni, Federico Zullo, Alessandro Taurino

Needs and Relational Experiences of Unaccompanied Foreign Minors: Analysis of Narrative Accounts

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Unaccompanied Foreign Minors (ufms) represent a population of individuals with severe psychopathological and psychosocial risk. Knowing them requires the attention of the society and of the operators, in relation to the possible routes for their protection and support. The research is based on the analysis of narrative accounts in response to semi structured interviews with 20 male ufms, resident in Italy and coming from different countries. The themes explored through the interviews relate to the needs and relational experiences through the narration of life events of the past in the homeland, the experience of journey, and the experience of the present in the host country and in the residential care center where these young people are welcomed. The interviews were subjected to a content analysis, using an ad hoc version of Luborsky's ccrt method. The results outline the profile of a group that expresses somehow different needs than the normal adolescent population. Within it, a certain degree of persecutory experiences prevails. Significantly, however, the subjects refer to a choice and a goal – reaching the host country and the residential care center – such as a goal successfully achieved, which seems to make an important contribution to the sense of solidity of their identity.

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