An Exploratory Study of Asian Immigrant Youth’s Experiences of Settling into Canada with the Assistance of Youth Settlement Services




Xia, Yupei

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Settlement services for immigrants are a relatively new phenomenon in Canada. There is a dearth of research examining the roles of settlement services in the transition process of immigrant youth. Drawn from Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) ecological systems theory, this interpretive qualitative study explores the experience of Asian immigrant youth who settled in Canada with the assistance of settlement services for youth. This study, conducted in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, involved immigrant youth from China, Korea, and the Philippines, aged 15-24, who participated in semi-structured, audio taped interviews regarding the roles a local settlement services agency (the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society) played in their transitions to Canada. Data were analyzed using an iterative thematic analysis approach. The findings contribute to understanding the ecological context of settlement experiences of youth and shed light on challenges and barriers that Asian immigrant youth may experience in smaller, predominantly white, urban centres such as Victoria. The study also yields insight about the impact of settlement services in the acculturative process of Asian immigrant youth. This research offers a theoretical framework that can informs the design of settlement programs and the delivery of programs in practice. The study also supports several recommendations for settlement services that may be useful for the particular agency and for settlement agencies in general.



Asian immigrant youth in Canada, settlement services, cultural adjustments, transition, ecological systems theory