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New Waves - Educational Research & Development



Vol 19, No 2 (2016)

Demystifying the “Model Minority” Encounter: Concerns and Challenges in School Counseling With Asian Americans
Yih-Jiun Shen
Asian American students' counseling concerns and resulting challenges for school counselors were surveyed nationwide via (a) e-mail with 158 members of the American School Counselor Association [ASCA] and (b) regular mail with 296 counselors in school districts having high concentrations of Asian Americans. Counselors ranked concerns by frequency: (1) expectations and pressures, (2) language and cultural barriers, (3) counseling barriers, and (4) logistical needs. The school-district counselors identified all four concerns as challenges; the ASCA members only identified (1) and (3). Expectations and pressures was uniformly the foremost student concern and counselor challenge for both groups. On average, all counselors felt somewhat challenged by these issues—reflecting an intermediate level of confidence in counseling Asian Americans. Surprisingly, among the ASCA members, more background (multicultural counseling workshops or practical experience with Asian Americans) correlated with higher levels of perceived challenge. Among the school-district counselors, statistical relationships were found between students' logistical needs and school location; as well as between the counselors' perceived challenge level and (a) field-experience training, (b) ethnicity, and (c) school location.
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ISSN: 1526-8659