An exploration of adult third culture kids’ experience of transitioning to the UK between the ages of 10 and 17: an interpretative phenomenological analysis

Montazer, Alla (2023) An exploration of adult third culture kids’ experience of transitioning to the UK between the ages of 10 and 17: an interpretative phenomenological analysis. Doctoral thesis, London Metropolitan University.

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Abstract / Description

Background:
Third Culture Kids (TCKs) are individuals who spent a significant part of their developmental years outside of their country of origin. They differ from traditional migrants due to the relocation being driven by parents’ choice, with a temporary mobility pattern. Research on TCK’s suggests that their migratory experience(s) can be linked to challenges with identity development, a lack of belonging and others. There is a lack of consensus on the impact of age at which TCK’s experience the relocations and little focus on cultural aspects of home and host countries. This study addresses this gap by looking at the experiences of adult TCK’s who came to the UK between the ages of 10 and 17 years old from EU countries.

Design and method:
Verbatim accounts of six semi-structured interviews from adult TCK’s were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis.

Findings:
Three superordinate themes emerged: a. The creation of me and my home (referring to the impact on personal identity formation and a lack of belonging); b. Meaningful connections (referring to the impact the move(s) had on significant relationships); c. The turmoil of adolescence and choice (referring to the interaction of adolescence with the impact of the move and the lack of choice in moving).

Conclusion:
The study’s findings echo the findings of published literature on TCK’s – there appear to be difficulties with establishing who the individual is, where they belong and relationships with significant others. The study also highlights unique findings that experiencing specific losses (of important people, and personal characteristics such as confidence); as well as identifying that the lack of choice in the move process differentiated these TCK’s from their non-TCK counterparts, as well as their parents. Implications of the findings are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Third Culture Kids (TCKs); migratory experience; relocation to UK; identity development; Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
Subjects: 100 Philosophy & psychology > 150 Psychology
300 Social sciences
Department: School of Social Sciences and Professions
Depositing User: Chiara Repetto
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2024 15:02
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2024 10:32
URI: https://repository.londonmet.ac.uk/id/eprint/9058

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