To access this work you must either be on the Smith College campus OR have valid Smith login credentials.

On Campus users: To access this work if you are on campus please Select the Download button.

Off Campus users: To access this work from off campus, please select the Off-Campus button and enter your Smith username and password when prompted.

Non-Smith users: You may request this item through Interlibrary Loan at your own library.

Publication Date


Document Type



School for Social Work


Separation (Psychology) in children, Immigrant youth-Canada-Psychology, Immigrant youth-China-Psychology, Chinese-Cultural assimiliation-Canada, Family reunification-Psychological aspects, Parent and adult child, Chinese immigrant youth, Reunification, Parent-child relationships, Cultural adjustment, Life in Canada


The purpose of this dissertation was to examine the experiences of reunification between older Chinese immigrant youth and their biological parents in Canada. The study took a phenomenological approach to better understand how participants experienced separation and reunion with parents and caregivers as well as coming to Canada, how youth were prepared to come to Canada, and what cultural values or beliefs helped the youth navigate and cope in the new environment. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in English, Cantonese and Mandarin with 14 participants who ranged in age from 18-24 years old. Findings included that half of participants struggled with the transition to Canada and being with their parents again, and that older immigrants had a smoother adjustment. Chinese cultural values, although not expressed idiomatically, did appear to play a role in the navigation of Canadian culture with many coping strategies provided. Implications for social work practice and research are discussed.




vii, 216 pages : illustrations. Ph.D. Dissertation-Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Ma., 2016. Includes bibliographical references (pages 149-158)