Youth Newcomers’ Educational Resistance
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Refugees who come to Canada have a relatively lower level of education when compared to the independent immigrants. Among all newcomers to Canada, refugee youth have the lowest educational attainment. Often, educational attainment of youth is explained by their social class background and related cultural values. Less attention has been paid to the importance of personality characteristics, such as self-control, and how these characteristics result in resistance in school. Moreover, refugees’ poverty-stricken living conditions in the host country as well as language and discrimination barriers augmented by the collapse of family order may result in children’s maladaptive attitudes, self-control deficits, and personality problems, all of which could affect resistance to school and educational attainment of refugee youth. To date, there has been limited data to assess factors responsible for resistance to school among refugee youth. This report fills the gap by presenting results from a telephone survey with 175 youth between 14–24 years of age and living in Windsor, Ontario. Results point to the importance of self-control deficit and language and discrimination barriers for youth refugees’ resistance to school.