Date of Conferral







Leann M. Stadtlander


A human being's resilience refers to his or her abilities to combine internal and/or external resources effectively in response to significant contextual challenges in order to best succeed in a given environment. As such, this concept is vital across the lifespan and has been widely researched. However, few researchers to date have studied resilience as it relates to adult learners, and, significantly, those with immigrant status. Immigrant adult learners are facing compounded risks, which create challenges in various societies to identify this group's unique needs and/or to fully understand their experiences in diverse contexts, such as the Cayman Islands. Informed by the social cognitive theory, this convergent mixed methods study defined and examined resilience (dependent variable) among immigrants in the Cayman Islands, and explored immigrants' experiences as they participated in postsecondary education (independent variable). Seventy-nine participants completed the cross-sectional survey to provide quantitative data, and 15 of these participants were interviewed in depth to obtain qualitative data. Correlation, t tests, and thematic analysis were independently done then merged to provide combined findings, which showed that there are high levels of resilience among this group, although resilience did not positively correlate with postsecondary education participation. Through this research, existing literature is expanded with contextual information about definitions of resilience, and brings to the forefront this group's unique experiences. Educational and psychological stakeholders and practitioners are provided ways to implement programs and support services. These findings also provide immigrants with relevant and timely information to positively negotiate lifespan events while adjusting to postsecondary participation.