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Bridging the gap: Educational cultural brokers supporting the mental health of refugee youth Open Access


Other title
counselling, refugee, cultural broker
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Brar, Novjyot
Supervisor and department
Dr. Sophie C. Yohani, PhD. (Educational Psychology)
Examining committee member and department
Dr. Solina Richter, PhD. (Faculty of Nursing)
Dr. Robin D. Everall, PhD. (Educational Psychology)
Department of Educational Psychology

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Education
Degree level
Refugee youth are identified as a high risk group due to the likelihood of exposure to trauma (UNICEF, 1996) and frequent reports of anxiety, depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD)(Ellis, MacDonald, Lincoln, & Cabral, 2008). However they tend to underutilize mental health services(Fenta, Hyman, & Noh, 2006). This study explored the ways in which educational cultural brokers support the psychological well-being of refugee youth. Using a qualitative case study (Merriam, 2009), four cultural brokers and three mental health practitioners were interviewed and data was analyzed thematically. Two broad themes were identified encompassing informal supports and formal supports. Sub-themes that represented informal supports were: (1) Facilitating cultural integration and sense of belonging, (2) Bridging to settlement services, and (3) Providing supportive counselling. Sub-themes describing formal supports were: (1) Facilitating referrals, (2) Educating, (3) Providing contextual information, and (4) Providing cultural interpretation. The practice implications of this research are discussed.
License granted by Novjyot Brar ( on 2010-09-27T06:37:49Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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