Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Education




Dr. Jason Brown

Second Advisor

Dr. Alan Leschied


This study explored the interpersonal challenges and ways of coping utilized by Sri Lankan youth. Participants included 1.5 generation youth aged 14-20 residing in a large Canadian city. All of the participants identified as Tamil, and either their parents or they themselves were bom in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has been in a state of civil unrest with ethnic conflict for several years and some participants had been exposed to large scale community violence before coming to Canada. A total of 12 semi-structured interviews organized around interpersonal challenges faced and ways of coping in the contexts of home, peers and school life were completed. From a content analysis of the transcriptions, several themes emerged. The five themes included: role expectations, collectivism and independence, violence and discrimination, affiliations and academic expectations. These themes were compared and contrasted to the available literature. Implications for future research and counselling are described.



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