Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Stephen Chris

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


The main purpose of this study was to provide a basis for and facilitate the development of strategies and programs based on actual life experiences of the refugee families and their children and on present needs and resources in the Kitchener-Waterloo community. The participants in the study included three refugee families and their children from Somalia, Kurdistan and Bosnia, English as a Second Language teachers, cultural assistants (settlement counsellors), and a local community group. Qualitative data obtained from the participants were complemented with demographic characteristics relevant to the phenomenon of war trauma among children in the K-W Region The qualitative data showed that the impact of war and political persecution, refugee flight, and resettlement experience embody a number of stress-promoting and stress-buffering factors that shape the outcome of war trauma An ecological integration of the phenomenon of war trauma was endorsed as a preferable theoretical framework that actualizes the contribution of individual micro- and exosystemic factors to the war trauma outcomes. All data sources generated recommendations for community action. The findings will be used to inform the existing community group of suggested action steps that outline several ecological levels of intervention.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season