An Exploratory Study of How Southeast Asian American Female College Students Experience Family Dynamics Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/9p290c72n

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  • The purpose of the dissertation was to gain an understanding of variables that influence the psychosocial health of Asian American college students. There is sufficient literature support indicating this population experience greater levels of intrapersonal and interpersonal distress compared to non-Asian peers, and the significant role of family in their well-being. The investigation this phenomenon was accomplished through systematic review of literature and implementation of a qualitative exploration of the experience of family dynamics of a defined subpopulaton - Southeast Asian American (SEAA) female college students. Literature review revealed four themes that influenced Asian American students' psychosocial health, namely, intergenerational conflict, family acculturative stress, family obligation and expectations, and family support. The result of the review revealed that few research studies attempted to understand this population from their subjective experience. Therefore, this study utilized grounded theory to gain a deeper understanding of how 12 SEAA female college students experienced family relationship patterns, and the resulting impact to their well-being. Three rounds of semi-structured interviews were completed, audio recorded and transcribed, and member check was conducted in the third round. Through the coding process, three categories emerged; family dynamics, finding own voice and experiencing college. Finding own voice comprising of three development stages of feeling trapped, negotiating dual goals, and going for it, developed as the central category because of its essential relationship to how the participants experience family dynamics. Experiencing college proved to be significant in providing the context that adds tension to family dynamics in a way that led participants to feeling trapped, while challenging them to negotiate dual goals of personal desires vs. family expectations. When participants strongly believe in a personal goal, they confidently go for it, thus finding their own voice in the process. This study provides a narrative of how SEAA female young adults experience family dynamics. These findings as well as those from the literature review are relevant to the counseling profession in general, academic program development, counselor educators, and have implications for future research.
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