Attitudes of Southeast Asian immigrant students toward counseling
Hoang, Phu Dinh, 1947-
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Interest in minority group counseling and psychotherapy has increased in recent years. But the body of research on minority groups in general and on Asian American groups in particular remains scarce. The few research findings on Asian Americans concur that they underutilize the services, prefer structured approaches, and focus on concrete and practical outcomes rather than on emotion exploration and insight analysis. However, this scant research literature focuses mainly on American-born adult Asian Americans. Few data have been collected on new immigrant adolescents. This study examined the attitudes of Southeast Asian immigrant high school students toward school counseling in light of the literature findings regarding Asian Americans. Self-administered questionnaires were taken by 403 high school students of whom 178 were Caucasians, 73 were Southeast Asians, and 152 were Others. The questionnaire consisted of 66 items of which 54 were designed to measure respondents' attitudes toward school counseling, and were subdivided into two categories: 21 items dealing with the academic and vocational area, and 33 items dealing with the emotional and personal area. The t-test results indicated that the mainstream group was more willing than the Southeast Asian group to work on problems in counseling (M = 2.53 vs. M = 1.89, t (77.75) = 12.26, p $<$.005), and was more inclined to discuss problems of personal and emotional nature (M = 4.59 vs. M = 2.40, t (81.53) = 17.11, p $<$.005). When the emotional, personal category was contrasted with the vocational, academic category for each group, the Southeast Asian group indicated more willingness to seek guidance in matters of vocational and academic nature than in issues that could generate emotion or require personal self-disclosure (M = 3.41 vs. M = 2.40, t (72) = 10.44, p $<$.005). Obviously, the new immigrant students are considered an at-risk group and in need of counseling programs. First, counselors must start learning about this group and incorporate that knowledge into the counseling approaches to make them more appropriate. Second, counselors have to work both with this group to help ease the adjustment and with the system to advocate for the needs of the group. For counseling purpose, Reality Therapy, Behavior Therapy, and Systemic Counseling were recommended because they take into account the socio-cultural milieu of the client and focus on adaptive behavior, problem solving rather than on long-term emotion analysis and personality change.
- Education - Seattle