Refugee youth constitute around a third of the refugee population in Germany. We studied the experiences of newly arrived Syrian and Iraqi refugee youth, aged 14 to 18 years (N = 20), in Germany. We utilized semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis to investigate (a) the main challenges faced by youth and (b) their main coping resources to deal with these challenges. We grouped challenges into three levels: the individual level, the immediate social level, and the broader societal level. The most frequently mentioned challenges in our sample related to psychological wellbeing, school, friendship, accommodation, and discrimination. Youth reported relying on social support (friends, family, social services) and on themselves (through avoidance, persistence, activity seeking, active engagement) to cope with their challenges. Our findings provide insights into refugee youth’s experiences in Germany, encompassing the acculturative, developmental, and generational aspects of their lives and demonstrating their coping and resilience. We discuss our results in relation to the literature on refugee youth in high-income countries. © The Author(s) 2021.

DOI: 10.1177/07435584211056069
ISSN: 07435584