Date of Graduation

Spring 5-19-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in International and Multicultural Education (IME)


School of Education


International and Multicultural Education (IME)

First Advisor

Dr. David Donahue

Second Advisor

Dr. Rosa Jimenez


This thesis delves into the unique experiences of Coast Guard-connected youth, filling a gap in the academic literature by examining their challenges due to their nomadic upbringing. Utilizing in-depth interviews with 14 adults, including seven who grew up in Coast Guard families, the study underscores the effects of frequent relocations, isolation, and insufficient support on their lives. Although comparisons to military-connected children are drawn, the focus remains on understanding the distinct adversities encountered by Coast Guard-connected youth. Participants acknowledge the adaptability and social skills acquired from their upbringing while uncovering the emotional burden and difficulties in establishing a sense of identity. By analyzing their narratives, this thesis emphasizes the necessity of comprehending Coast Guard families' unique and specific needs. In doing so, it seeks to inform the development of targeted support systems that ensure the well-being, stability, and growth of children growing up in these singular environments, ultimately contributing to a more comprehensive understanding of the complexities faced by Coast Guard-connected youth and their families.