Date of Award



© 2021 Bobbi L. Avery

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Cynthia Kennedy

Second Advisor

Audrey Rabas

Third Advisor

Leigh Lardieri


The decision to relocate and seek refuge from one country to another country is a decision that typically requires careful consideration (Hucklesby & Travis, 2002). The most common reasons refugees decide to flee their country are religious, national, social, racial, or political persecution (Rueckert, 2017). The purpose of this qualitative, narrative study was to give a voice to three first-generation adult Somali refugee women who have shared their acculturation and adaptation experiences upon arriving in the United States. The research question this study answered was how do first-generation Somali women describe their individual experiences in acculturating within the United States, specifically, the State of Maine? The analysis yielded five themes from the participants’ restoried narratives as it relates to their acculturation experiences. These themes included (1) cultural differences, (2) mental health, (3) trauma, (4) children and their well-being, and (5) social service programs. There was one major finding of this study pertaining to social service programs and how these programs may set refugees up for failure by keeping them in poverty. The study yielded three recommendations centered around providing a culturally sensitive platform for the immigrant populations voice to be heard as it relates to what is working and what requires improvement to assist with their acculturation.


Ed.D. Dissertation