Transitioning to Adulthood in Sweden: Comparing the Priorities of Immigrant Youths with Disabilities and Caregivers, from Middle-Eastern Countries

E. Björquist, N. A. Almasri, I. Hallström, E. Nordmark


Background: There is limited knowledge about perceived challenges during the transition to adulthood among immigrant youths who are originally from Arabic-speaking countries but now residing in Sweden. Aim: The aim of this study was to describe self-identified problems encountered by immigrant youths with disabilities from Middle Eastern countries who were living in Sweden during their transition to adulthood and to compare these descriptions to the problems identified by their caregivers.

Methods: Seventeen semi-structured interviews using the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure were conducted with 17 immigrant youths with intellectual disabilities aged 13-24 years and 16 caregivers, originally from Middle Eastern countries. The participants’ prioritized problems were categorized using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health-Children & Youth Version, focusing on Activity and Participation.

Results: A difference in priorities during transition was found when comparing the youths’ and the caregivers’ views. Most of the youths’ priorities were identified in the chapter “Major Life Area” about basic economic transactions and seeking employment, whilst the caregivers thought their youths’ prioritized “self-care”.

Conclusion and implications for practice: Planning the best transition for immigrant youths with disabilities involves enabling them to identify their own preferences and needs while collaborating with caregivers and taking into consideration the cultural norms and traditions of collective caregiving.

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Copyright (c) 2018 E. Björquist, N. A. Almasri, I. Hallström, E. Nordmark

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