The counseling needs and strengths of Hmong American students in the Southeast
Manalo, Michael Jay
MetadataShow full item record
Hmong Americans, a group of people with historical roots in Southeast Asia, represent a growing population in the southeastern United States. Hmong students and their families face several challenges including a changing socioeconomic status, a high prevalence of mental disorders, and linguistic barriers. This qualitative study examined school employees’ and Hmong students’ perceptions of their counseling needs in a southeastern metropolitan area. The purpose of this investigation was to understand the counseling needs and resilient strategies of Hmong students living in the southeast across elementary, middle and high school levels as perceived by both school employees and Hmong students. In order to answer these questions, the researcher used qualitative research methodology in the data collection and analysis. The study included in-depth interviews with 10 school employees employed in a rural school district in the southeastern United States as well as interviews with 7 students who were currently or formerly enrolled in K – 12 institutions in the southeast. The researcher utilized a grounded theory approach to examining the interview data in order to create base-level codes, axial codes, and themes. Codes and themes were collected and organized using the ATLAS.ti qualitative data analysis software package. Utilizing these themes, the researcher developed a model to describe the resilient characteristics and counseling needs of the Hmong students and their community as well as strategies that counselors can use in working with this population. Strengths from the data included individual, family, and school-related strengths as well as problem solving strategies. Areas of need as derived from the data included school based challenges, mental health related challenges, cultural challenges, and environmental challenges. Possible strategies to working with the Hmong students as derived from the data included partnering with community organizations, developing trust and cultural understanding, communication with parents, and other specific strategies. This study also presents several implications for both current practice as well as future research as raised by both the participants and the researcher.