Belonging among newcomer youths: intersecting experiences of inclusion and exclusion

ANS Adv Nurs Sci. 2010 Oct-Dec;33(4):E17-30. doi: 10.1097/ANS.0b013e3181fb2f0f.


Belonging has been identified as an important resource for health and well-being in the lives of youths. Thus, it is an important concept for upstream health promotion and culturally safe and relevant nursing care. While many researchers acknowledge the importance of the social, cultural, and political context in the lives of newcomer youths, little research has examined the sociopolitical processes inherent in immigrant and refugee youths' experiences of belonging. By employing an intersectional and postcolonial perspective, this study explored newcomer youths' gendered, racialized, and class experiences of inclusion and exclusion that ultimately influenced their sense of belonging in their country of resettlement. Through an examination of online blogs in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and secondary analyses of transcribed interviews from a previous study conducted in Canada, experiences of belonging were revealed to be shaped by complex and multifaceted structures of oppression. Through individual and collective efforts of resistance and resiliency, newcomer youths worked to construct a sense of belonging in their daily lives. Despite these participants' demonstrated strengths, it is evident that more work is needed to support newcomer youths' sense of belonging and well-being throughout resettlement. Implications for nursing practice and research are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation*
  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Anthropology, Cultural
  • Australia
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / psychology*
  • Family / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • North America
  • Social Identification*
  • Social Isolation*
  • Social Support
  • United Kingdom
  • Young Adult