Doctoral Research Program: Psycho-Social Impacts of Migration and Flight

Structure of the graduation programme – research objectives and focus

Scientific research contributes vitally to coping with the consequences of (forced) migration as, on a national as well as an international level, one of the urgent and key challenges current societies face. The doctoral research programme contains of four (shared) disciplines: sociology/social psychology, educational sciences and research, psychology/child and youth analysis and medicine/psychosomatics. It addresses questions previous studies considered too little or not systematically enough, especially not in the specific orientation and transdisciplinary approach conceived here.


The special feature of this design is based on

  1. the systematic consideration of the psychosocial and psychological aspects of the burdens and opportunities associated with (forced) migration and, related to this,
  2. focusing on trans- or intergenerational dynamics, which the situation of adolescent descendants of migrants can only be analysed from in a differentiated manner – namely
    • regarding generational dimensions of psychological developments, adolescent identity concepts and cultural positioning of young men and women in the immigration society (Prof. Dr. Vera King)
    • regarding the generational dimensions of educational careers and processes of adolescent daughters and sons from migrant families (Prof. Dr. Hans- Christoph Koller)
    • regarding generational dimensions of adolescent processing of migration experiences and possible traumas - including pedagogical or school settings (Prof. Dr. Patrick Meurs)
    • regarding the generational dimensions of the development and treatment of mental stress, illness or psychosomatic disorders with special emphasis on adolescence (Prof. Dr. Heinz Weiß)
  3. a concept of adolescent processes and developments that is theoretically and methodologically differentiated in terms of generational dynamics
  4. considering the similarities and differences of forced migration and migration
  5. the usually neglected differentiation between challenges and burdens typical of (forced) migration on the one hand and culture-related aspects on the other
  6. the transdisciplinary linking of perspectives - insofar as psychosocial and psychological developments, education and socialisation of adolescent young men and women as well as clinically significant developmental problems and generational dynamics are to be analysed from a social psychological, educational, child and youth analytical as well as medical-psychoanalytical/psychosomatic perspective.

News & Events


Gemeinsame Konferenz des Instituts für Sozialforschung und des Sigmund-Freud-Instituts Frankfurt/M.: Das Ringen um Zugehörigkeit – Soziale und psychische Dynamiken in der Migrationsgesellschaft“ am 21.-22. April 2023 an der Goethe University Frankfurt/M., gefördert von der Hans-Böckler-Stiftung.


Benzel, S. & King, V. (2020): Promotionskolleg: Psychosoziale Folgen von Migration und Flucht – generationale Dynamiken und adoleszente Verläufe. In: Gesellschaft –   Individuum –   Sozialisation (GISo). Zeitschrift für Sozialisationsforschung, 1(2). Link zum Artikel: