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Title: The impact of immigration detention on the mental health of adults
Author: Gallagher, Alanna
ISNI:       0000 0004 6424 7504
Awarding Body: Canterbury Christ Church University
Current Institution: Canterbury Christ Church University
Date of Award: 2017
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Introduction: Immigration detention leads to poor mental health outcomes. Little qualitative research has been conducted focusing on immigrants’ experiences of detention centres or the mechanisms of the particular psychosocial processes involved in harm and resilience, particularly for women in the UK. Method: A social constructionist grounded theory methodology was used. Ten adults (seven females), previously detained in UK immigration detention, were interviewed. Transcribed interview data was analysed to develop categories. Results: An initial model of the psychosocial processes of immigration detention was developed, which included the means by which individuals’ adaptation, resistance, and survival is navigated. Life as a liminal refugee and imposed criminality through institutionalisation and an unjust system was described. Detainees were not believed and felt uncared for. Detainees internalised persecution, injustice, and threat. They responded with physical and emotional. Detainees also responded with agency and defiance. They supported each other and made use of advocates. Recovery after release from detention involved processing and re-establishing oneself, despite on-going challenges. Discussion: Immigration detention has enduring effects that reflect internalisation of institutional processes. Disempowerment and resilience are discussed. Treatment may be similar to that used for complex therapy. Professionals should consider ethics and actions in relation to immigration detention.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF0636 Applied psychology