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ERIC Number: EJ1006798
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Apr
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 35
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0167
Negotiating Identity Development among Undocumented Immigrant College Students: A Grounded Theory Study
Ellis, Lauren M.; Chen, Eric C.
Journal of Counseling Psychology, v60 n2 p251-264 Apr 2013
This qualitative study explored the identity development process of 11 undocumented college students living in the United States, focusing on how undocumented college students negotiate the interplay of acculturation, ethnic identity, and educational and career pursuits. A semistructured interview protocol was used and data analysis was iterative, consistent with grounded theory methodology. Four major themes emerged from the data: (a) "sewn with two threads" describes the salience of bicultural identity; (b) enhancement of positive attributes as a result of documentation struggles; (c) challenging reflections, addressing the ways in which documentation status challenges one's perception of oneself and the world; and (d) identity formation as an ongoing negotiation, capturing the long-term shifts in understanding of status implications and emotional response to this understanding. Findings are discussed in terms of their implications for educators, counseling psychologists, and career counselors. Suggestions regarding how mental health professionals can educate and empower undocumented immigrant youth are presented. (Contains 2 tables.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A