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Perpetual sojourning : an interpretive phenomenological study of latest re-entry in emerging adulthood Kollar, Diana

Abstract

Re-entry, the experience of returning to one's home country a sojourn, involves a psychological and social readjustment that may include re-entry distress. Since most literature focuses on single re-entry experiences, little is known of the salient re-entry issues for sojourners who have re-entered more than once during their twenties. This interpretive phenomenological study looked at the latest re-entry experience of those who repeatedly sojourned and re-entered during emerging adulthood developmental stage. This qualitative study involved data from in-depth interviews with five participants that were analysed for main themes. Synopses or situated structures of each participant's experience were included. A general structure described the themes common in all the experiences. The six main themes that emerged were: 1) anticipatory thoughts and feelings about re-entry; 2) emotional struggle; 3) sense of rootlessness/desire for rootedness; 4) isolation and lack of social support; 5) sense of readjustment; and 6) awareness & appreciation of the benefits of sojourning. Findings distinct to this study were: the anticipatory excitement sojourners felt about changing the focus of their lives towards a career, financial stability, and relationships; the sense of urgency and pressure participants felt to achieve career goals and become financially stable during their readjustment; and that most of their emotional struggles were associated to set backs in employment and career. The findings add depth to the re-entry literature by offering firsthand accounts of those Who experiences latest re-entry during emerging adulthood and they inform clinical practice and program development.

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