Willow C. Glasier (author), Mihaela Launeanu (thesis supervisor), Janelle Kwee (second reader), Nancy Sidell (external examiner), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
Placing a loved one in care does not relieve informal caregivers’ physical and emotional stresses, yet the experience of caregivers during the long process of separation has not been fully explored, especially in Canada. This study sought to identify the social processes of involuntary separation for caregiving spouses. Participants were 17 spouse-caregivers who had been involuntarily separated for an average of 20 months. All participants lived in Southern Alberta. Data were comprised of 12 individual interviews and one focus group. Using Charmaz’s (2006) model of grounded theory, this study found that the basic social process of spouse-caregiver involuntary separation was connecting, which had three distinct stages: 1) Initial news and coping, 2) Adjusting to new situation, and 3) Moving forward. There were four additional categories: 1) Adjustment to separation, 2) Significant Helping Roles, 3) Family, and 4) Social world. Movement through the three stages was influenced by reciprocal connections.
Fred Chou (author), Janelle Kwee (thesis supervisor), Robert Lees (thesis supervisor), Marla Buchanan (external examiner), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
This Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) study collaborated with six students from alternate education to inquire about the experiences of vulnerable youth--students who have disengaged from mainstream education. Utilizing the Enhanced Critical Incident Technique, youth researchers asked their peers: what helped and hindered their retention and success in mainstream and alternate education? Youth researchers engaged in authentic participation and took part in the iterative phases of YPAR--critical reflection and social action. Their involvement empowered them to advocate for their peers by disseminating the results and recommendations to key stakeholders within the community. Youth researchers conducted semi-structured interviews with 18 participants. Overall, the findings show that relationships with staff and peers, flexibility, psychosocial and academic supports, and personal circumstances are vital in helping vulnerable students succeed in school. Engagement in YPAR provided insight on how to work with vulnerable youth in a manner that promotes agency and social change.