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Homecoming:  Repatriation experiences of young adult missionary kids (MKs) & TCKs

Key points from 2009 Article: 
A consensual qualitative investigation into the repatriation experiences of young adult, missionary kids, 

Lynette H. Bikosa*, Julia Kochelevab

, David Kinga, Glenna C. Changb, Anne McKenzieb, Chris Roenickeb, Victoria Campbellb and Katrina Eckardb

Mental Health, Religion & Culture
Vol. 12, No. 7, November 2009, 735–754

Study employed a constructivist-interpretivist approach with Consensual Qualitative Research (CQR) to interview young adult, repatriated MK and those who support them.



  • CQR analysis of the MK data resulted in three domains (adjusting to the home country, MK identity and personal growth, and support systems) and 16 core ideas which elaborate on those themes.

  • MK supporter interviews resulted in four similar domains
    (adjustment, identity, relationships, support systems) and 16 core ideas.

Research Nuggets on Re-entry Issues

Mental health issues related to the context of re-entry were explored. For instance, it was found that TCKs with more negative experiences in earlier transitions would also find more difficulty adjusting to re-entry and college transitions (Bikos et al., 2009).

Klemens and Bikos (2009 ) found that repatriated MKs in the US had lower levels of psychological well-being compared to their non-MK counterparts.

However, if re-entry programs were conducted as a preventative support measure, two studies conducted by the same lead researcher, Davis, reported significant reductions in depression, anxiety, and well-being or stress levels after attendance of the program (Davis, Suarez, Crawford, & Rehfuss, 2013; Davis, Headley, Bazemore, Cervo, Sickinger, Windham, & Rehfuss, 2010).

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