Career development experiences of Asian Americans with chronic mental health disabilities

Vicky Yik-Yi Ng, Fordham University


Asian Americans with disabilities are an underserved minority population for which there is no current applicable career development theory. This present study uses grounded theory methodology as the means of developing an emerging theory in this previously unstudied population and is also informed by Bandura's social cognitive theory as this is a theory which is considered to be a culturally sensitive and comprehensive theoretical framework. Participants were 12 Asian Americans with disabilities living in an urban metropolitan community ranging in age from 19 to 48. Semi-structured interviews were completed with the participants, who were from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, generational statuses and had varying degrees of employment experience. The data analysis was completed with the resulting transcribed data, yielding 32 open, 9 axial and 3 selective categories. The resulting emerging theory in this study suggests that the career development of Asian Americans with disabilities occurs within the context of their cultural and familial influences. Supports and barrier to career development with Asian Americans with disabilities were also discussed. The presence of certain supports positively affects career development. Many of the participants stated that they received specialized academic and community services which assisted them in their career decision making and vocational choices. Barriers were identified which hindered or stagnated the process significantly. The participants were subjected to experiences of racial discrimination, lack of vocational opportunities and mental health symptomology which prohibited them from fulfilling their vocational goals. The results of this study reflect some of the findings of previous research in similar areas and also gave some previously unexplored outcomes. Directions for future research and clinical implications are discussed, as well as limitations of the present study.

Subject Area

Counseling education|Ethnic studies|Vocational education

Recommended Citation

Ng, Vicky Yik-Yi, "Career development experiences of Asian Americans with chronic mental health disabilities" (2009). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3373830.