Narrative Identities of Center-Based Filipino Children in Conflict with the Law

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This study examined the narrative identities of 10 male, center-based, Filipino children in conflict with the law (CICL) from their stories of their experiences before entering the youth rehabilitation center, during their commitment at the center, and their perception of the future after they leave the center. Participants were minors when they were charged with the commission of an offense, but were 18 to 22 years old at the time of the interviews. Multiple in-depth, face-to-face, semi-structured interviews were conducted using an adapted life story interview guide to elicit participants’ self-defining memories and views of the past, present, and future, following protocols approved by the University Research Ethics Committee and research guidelines for juvenile justice populations. Data were analyzed inductively using thematic narrative analysis and revealed three depicted identities across time points, manifesting a sense of sameness and continuity in the CICL’s views of themselves. In particular, the CICL depicted the self as a young person in need, with capabilities, and demonstrating concern for others. The study contributes to the development of a theory and program framework that can support the positive development of CICL, before, during, and after their stay in the youth rehabilitation center by identifying important elements for focus.