Education Doctorate

Year Approved


First Advisor

Lindell, Mary


The stories of at-risk minority youth living in rural southern China, are stories waiting to be told. These are the stories of trauma and courage as they discover their pathway from risk to resilience. This study points to the need for continued study on the cultural dimensions of risk and resilience in the lives of rural minority youth in developing countries. A phenomenological approach was deployed in the qualitative study to explore the lived experiences of rural minority youth who grew up in the Family Village Care Center. The participants were Yao and Zhuang nationality who all experienced trauma in their biological family. While in primary school, the youth and their siblings moved to Family Village, a care center located in the same district as the youth. The researcher conducted in-depth semi-structured interviews in Chinese via the Zoom web-conferencing tool. Data collection also included document analysis of public journals produced by the center. Through the lens of the resilience theory the study explored the themes of resilience that emerged from the lived experiences of the youth in their social and cultural context. It also explored the culturally sensitive supports they received at the Family Village Care Center. The supports provided were: Family Village staff support, family unit support, educational support, physical support, and emotional support. The study discovered five themes of resilience that emerged from the lived experiences of the participants. They are: I experience the love of a family, I value education and try my best to succeed, I know where to go to get help, I want to share with others, I experience self-confidence through artistic expression. Additional research is recommended to examine the effectiveness of using the Family Village Support Model with at-risk youth in other rural communities of the Greater Mekong Subregion.

Degree Name

Education Doctorate

Document Type

Doctoral dissertation

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