“This is not what I want for my children”: agency and parenting in Danish asylum centres

Amina Barghadouch*, Morten Skovdal, Marie Louise Nørredam, Kathrine Vitus


Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Children of asylum-seeking families constitute a particularly vulnerable group, and there is growing interest in understanding how asylum-seeking parents can be supported to safeguard the health, wellbeing and growth of their children. In this study, we examine the capabilities of asylum-seeking parents to act on the support and advice provided by child health nurses in Danish asylum centres.

We draw on semi-structured qualitative interviews with 11 asylum-seeking families (corresponding to 15 parents) living in two asylum centres run by the Danish Red Cross.

The findings illustrate that asylum-seeking parents’ agentic capabilities to take care of their children are tightly constrained by their housing constrictions and living conditions, insufficient money allowances, regular relocations and juridical status as asylum-seekers. These physical and organizational structures and the pervasive uncertainty related to being asylum-seekers inhibited parents from acting on advice from child health nurses, and from providing their children with a safe, healthy and stable environment.

Asylum-seeking parents face the task of taking care of their children within particular physical, organizational and juridical structures, which tightly constrain their ability to parent their children well, or to follow advice provided by child health nurses.

TidsskriftEuropean Journal of Public Health
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)379-383
Antal sider5
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2022

Bibliografisk note

© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Public Health Association.


Dyk ned i forskningsemnerne om '“This is not what I want for my children”: agency and parenting in Danish asylum centres'. Sammen danner de et unikt fingeraftryk.