Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Study Type



School for Social Work


Nepali people-United States, Nepali people-Cultural assimilation-United States, Bhutanese people-United States, Bhutanese people-Cultural assimilation-United States, Refugees-Nepal, Refugees-Bhutan, Refugees-Services for-United States, Teenage refugees-United States, Asian Counseling and Referral Service (Seattle Wash.), Nepali-Bhutanese, Refugees, Integration, Acculturation theory, History of Nepali-Bhutanese displacement, Adolescent perspective, Structural barriers in immigration


This study was undertaken to explore the strengths and needs of the Nepali-Bhutanese refugee community from the adolescent perspective. As research suggests that the Nepali-Bhutanese population has a higher rate of suicidality than the general population of the United States, this study examines underlying community and systemic issues and barriers to integration, and community strengths that might help overcome them. A focus group of 11 Nepali-Bhutanese adolescents was held at an Asian Pacific Islander community health organization in Washington State. They responded to and discussed ten questions about the strengths and needs of their community. Major findings included the participants’ definitions of “community,” and how and where this community could be found, the participants’ conflict and confusion around their sense of identity in relation to the community at large, and intergenerational differences in the community as a result of immigration to America. Further, the participants wanted their parents to “work with the times,” and to have a more open mind to American culture, society, and rules. The participants wanted their community to gossip less. The participants desired to eliminate discrimination about caste, class, and gender in their community at large. The participants experienced a wish for less conflict about religion. The participants expressed a number of problems and barriers that their parents and grandparents faced as first-generation immigrants. Finally, the participants had suggestions for how professionals could engage the community.




iii, 73 pages. M.S.W., Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Ma, 2016. Includes bibliographical references (pages 58-62)

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Social Work Commons