The Identity Formation Process of Immigrant Children: a Case Study Synthesis

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Introduction: Children who immigrate often have difficulties in adjusting to their host country. A single case study based on similar narratives is composed to develop the character of a child’s developmental cultural issues as he immigrated to the United States from El Salvador. Attachment theory is reviewed to discuss how detachment and re-attachment affected him. A review of the literature on assimilation and acculturation is also provided. Objectives: The author synthesizes the work experience with the population with migration history to illustrate how attachment and loss impact these individuals, through a composed case study illustrated through the experience of Ramni, a boy who migrated to the United States from El Salvador. Methods: A case study and narrative approach were used to analyze the clinical experience with this population. The composed narrative was from clients who were seen/ provided psychotherapeutic interventions for adjustment issues. Their age ranges from 10 to 24. The clients’ primary country of origin was from the Latin America area. Results: The findings show the child overaccommodated in adjusting to the United States culture, rejected his native culture and country, and had difficulties attaching to his biological parents. However, as a reconstructed self, he readjusted to incorporate his culture and native country. He also recontextualized the perspective he had on his family – to embrace a shared perspective of loss and gain. Conclusions: The story of the child’s development showed strong attachment to his grandparents and country of origin, thereby being uprooted from his native country and living with his biological parents necessitated adjustment to the United States culture and norms.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
JournalFaculty Publications
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

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