UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Incidents hindering or facilitating the adjustment process: a study of Hong Kong students Bolton, Sandra A.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the question: What events facilitated or hindered the adjustment process of Hong Kong students in Canada? This task was completed by utilizing Flanagan's (1954) Critical Incident Technique. Sixteen students, eight male and eight female, between the ages of sixteen and eighteen were interviewed. All the participants had lived in Canada for one and half to three years, and were enrolled in regular classes. Students were asked to identify specific incidents which hindered or facilitated their adjustment process in Canada. A total of 308 incidents were reported, 121 facilitating and 187 hindering. The average number of incidents reported per student was 19. Overall, this research revealed seven basic categories which facilitated or hindered the students' adjustment in Canada. From an examination of findings, several conclusions were drawn regarding emotional, societal and environmental factors. Foremost, language acquisition ranked firstamong all the categories, and tended to be a very difficult obstacle for all the students. Over fifty-six hindering incidents were reported in this category. Likewise, a lack of family support and a negative sense of identity hindered the process of adjustment for a majority of the students. In contrast, a helpful school environment and positive peer interaction, lessened the stresses of acculturation for many students. Based on these conclusions, several recommendations were listed to assist counsellors, teachers and administrators in establishing various programs to encourage the successful adjustment of immigrant students. Moreover, areas for future research and the implications of the study were highlighted.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.