Preprint Article Version 1 This version not peer reviewed

Staying Behind and Looking Forward: Characteristics of Urban Afghan Youth with No Intent to Seek Asylum

Version 1 : Received: 15 February 2017 / Approved: 17 February 2017 / Online: 17 February 2017 (07:28:14 CET)

How to cite: Alemi, Q.; Smith, V.; Montgomery, S. Staying Behind and Looking Forward: Characteristics of Urban Afghan Youth with No Intent to Seek Asylum. Preprints 2017, 2017020066 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201702.0066.v1). Alemi, Q.; Smith, V.; Montgomery, S. Staying Behind and Looking Forward: Characteristics of Urban Afghan Youth with No Intent to Seek Asylum. Preprints 2017, 2017020066 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201702.0066.v1).

Abstract

Insecurity, corruption, and rising unemployment have resulted in a mass exodus of young adult Afghans seeking asylum in western nations. This has depleted Afghanistan of generations of young people which are critical to rebuild the country. This study aimed to examine the characteristics of young adult Afghans with no immediate intentions of seeking international asylum; that is, individuals who intend to stay in Afghanistan. In a cross-sectional study conducted in Kabul, we surveyed 232 young adults between 18 and 35 years of age. Surveys included measures assessing standard socio-demographic and -economic factors, as well as health and psychological factors. Univariate logistic regression analyses suggest that participants with an intent to stay in Afghanistan are more likely to be financially stable, possess higher health-related quality of life, lower psychological distress, and higher levels of hope and optimism, as well as higher resilience. When controlling for all other variables in the model, only hope, optimism, and higher resilience remained as significant correlates of intending to stay. Our findings suggest that young people who intend to stay in their country look forward to a better future, which provides strong evidence for the need to strengthen the social contract by fostering resilience, hope and optimism in war-affected communities, in order to prevent a generation of talented young people from seeking asylum in western nations.

Subject Areas

Afghanistan; health; hope; resilience; young people

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