Challenges, facilitators and enablers of conducting research with youth from refugee backgrounds

Tahereh Ziaian, Teresa Puvimanasinghe, Emily Miller, Helena de Anstiss, Maureen F. Dollard, Adrian Esterman, Helen Barrie, Ali Afsharian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Methodological and ethical challenges encountered when conducting research with refugee populations can pertain to gaining access to the population concerned, dispelling confusion about the research process, fostering trust among participants and their communities, addressing language and cultural barriers, and managing tensions in academic-industry partnerships. This article describes the challenges, facilitators and enablers we encountered when planning and designing a research project to investigate education and employment outcomes among newly arrived young people from refugee backgrounds. Notwithstanding careful planning, we encountered a number of challenges that could only be effectively managed by developing strong relationships with Industry Partners, Bilingual Youth Workers, and research participants. Our experiences may be useful to cross-cultural and other researchers seeking to undertake cross-cultural research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-73
Number of pages18
JournalAustralian Community Psychologist
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Refugees
  • Academic research
  • Trust
  • Language barriers
  • Cultural barriers


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