The increasing number of unaccompanied minors among the refugees constitute a situation of specific problems. While there are legally binding provisions for asylum procedure and providing basic support there is only scarce research on their psychological state and emotional needs. Adolescence is a challenging stage of life even under normal conditions. The biographies of unaccompanied minors are characterized by poverty, bereavement, loss or even war. Many of them have been traumatized. The process-like character of traumata has a great impact on the development of personality.
The study focuses on reasons for flight, on aspects of experiences during the flight and on coping strategies of unaccompanied minors.
Further exploration refer to the psychological state and resources to overcome emotional problems. Based on Erikson's theory of development of personality and on neuro-biological and psycho-traumatological findings the narrations are explored by qualitative content analysis and the hermeneutic method of "scenic understanding". Another point of emphasis is on processing traumatic experiences.