Understanding Refugee Children’s Perceptions of Their Well-Being in Australia Using Computer-Assisted Interviews

  • Jeanette A. LawrenceEmail author
  • Ida Kaplan
  • Agnes E. Dodds
Reference work entry


Children from refugee backgrounds have the right and the ability to contribute to research knowledge. But they need researchers to develop methods that enact respect and are theoretically appropriate. This chapter describes a methodological approach to understanding the well-being of children from refugee backgrounds from their own perspective. Two computer-assisted interviews (CAIs) were developed as research tools that enact respect for refugee children by facilitating young refugee participants’ agency and engagement, using accessible interfaces with child-friendly, age and culture appropriate tasks, and instructions that enable children to express their views with confidence and comfort. People and places in your life and Living in Australia invite children to work on and evaluate quantitative and qualitative tasks and questions. Two illustrative studies grounded in respect show how the data constructed in these CAIs are suitable for analyzes of themes and trends, standout features, and personal meanings as the basis of group comparisons and textual analysis of individual profiles. The usefulness of the methodology is discussed in relation to the need to understand the perspectives of refugee children and other children about their well-being.


Refugee children Respect Theoretical appropriateness Computer-assisted interviews Thick description Textual analysis Individualized profiles 



We gratefully acknowledge programming, artwork, animation and data collection by Abi Brooker, Hugh Campbell, Amy Collard, Al MacInnes, and Cat MacInnes, and funding by The Victorian Foundation for the Survivors of Torture and The University of Melbourne.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeanette A. Lawrence
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ida Kaplan
    • 2
  • Agnes E. Dodds
    • 3
  1. 1.Melbourne School of Psychological ScienceThe University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.The Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture IncBrunswickAustralia
  3. 3.Melbourne Medical SchoolThe University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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