Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work

First Advisor

Nick Coady

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight, second and third year university students who self-identified as having emerged intact from a difficult adolescence. Questions were asked with regard to stress, protective factors, resources, and coping strategies during adolescence, as well as about how they achieved a sense of well-being. Themes derived from qualitative analysis are highlighted in a chronological life story for each participant. Common themes for participants’ coping during adolescence included distraction and avoidance strategies, such as keeping active with sports, extracurricular activities, religion, or arts. More “mature” coping strategies emerged as participants neared early adulthood. These included strategies that allowed the participants to focus less on the stressors around them and their reactions to them, and more on themselves, their self-development, and their future.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season