Sense of Optimism and Perceptions of the Future among Palestine Refugee Students Living in Three West Bank Camps
Year: 2018 Vol: 3 Number: 1
Many young Palestine refugees in the West Bank continue to reside in refugee camps, often in crowded and poor living conditions with an uncertain future. The present research seeks to explore future aspirations and optimism among 227 Palestine refugee students attending six United Nations Relief and Works Agency schools in three West Bank refugee camps. The research uses focused classroom discussions to gain an understanding of how the students perceive their immediate living conditions, what they think of the future, as well as their personal goals and ambitions. The Life Orientation Test-Revised has been administered to assess the students’ general sense of optimism versus their sense of pessimism. The results show that young Palestine refugees as a whole remain more optimistic than pessimistic, with many being motivated to improve their camps and society. However, many of these adolescents also remain concerned about their future and do not believe they will achieve their personal dreams. This is most apparent in camps where students have been exposed to conflict-related violence or have more limited higher education or economic opportunities.