Negotiating developmental projects: Unaccompanied Afghan refugee boys in Norway

Guro Brokke Omland & Agnes Andenas - Childhood


Unaccompanied refugee minors are, like other youngsters, making their moves towards adulthood, but under most challenging conditions. Informed by a cultural psychological approach to development, we analysed interviews with 18 unaccompanied Afghan boys and their professional caregivers. ‘Establishing a liveable life in Norway’ and ‘helping the family in the country of origin’ were analysed as central developmental projects for the boys, the former actively supported by the caregivers, the latter typically not. Considering what each individual is trying to achieve and how their projects are received by significant others sheds light on the boys’ struggles, as well as their coping.