Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format



Master of Arts




Crooks, Claire

2nd Supervisor

Syeda, Maisha



This study investigated the supports that newcomer youth may need to promote positive well-being and foster healthy relationships during early resettlement. This study employed qualitative methodology using semi-structured interviews with four newcomer youth between the ages of 14 and 21 years old who have been in Canada for at least two years. Interview data were analyzed using reflexive thematic analysis (RTA). The results indicated that newcomer youth experience significant resettlement challenges and barriers including language barriers, culture shock, and feeling lonely and isolated within their new environments. However, newcomer youth participants also reported that they found various strengths and resources that helped them cope with stress and manage their well-being during their initial years in Canada. Newcomer youth also provided recommendations on how to support better future newcomer youth who may be arriving in Canada. Findings from the study contribute to the current literature on newcomer mental health and may guide future researchers to continue to learn about the distinct resettlement needs of newcomer youth. The findings of this study also provide recommendations for systemic and programming strategies (e.g., mental health program development and counselling implications) to improve resettlement efforts and enhance the well-being of newcomer youth in Canada.

Summary for Lay Audience

This study explored the unique mental health needs, interpersonal needs and supports that newcomer youth may require to promote positive mental health and foster healthy relationships during early resettlement. This study highlights the challenges, barriers and unmet needs of newcomer youth that may hinder their mental well-being and ability to develop and maintain interpersonal relationships. This study used qualitative methods to explore the perspectives of four youth participants. Participants were asked various questions during a semi-structured interview about their early experiences in Canada, challenges that they may have experienced, what they did to maintain positive well-being and recommendations that they have for other newcomer youth. Two superordinate themes and five sub-themes emerged from the data. The first superordinate theme was mental health and relationships challenges. Under this superordinate theme, two subthemes emerged: 1) Sometimes it was hard: Resettlement challenges and barriers and 2) Let’s make it better: Recommendations for future newcomer youth. The second superordinate theme was mental well-being and relationship strengths and resources. Under this superordinate theme, three sub-themes emerged: 1) How we felt supported: Need for school and community resources; 2) The importance of relationships: Connections to peers and family; and 3) It’s within me: Inner qualities and strengths. The discussion of this study explores how these findings contribute to the literature on newcomer youth mental health, implications for services and service providers who directly interact with newcomer youth and future directions of research with newcomer youth populations.