First Advisor

Athanasiou, Michele S.

Document Type


Date Created



College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, School Psychology, School Psychology Student Work


The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological research study is to explore the ethnic identity journey of 1.5 generation Asian American college students. The study seeks to answer how the ethnic identity perception of the 1.5 generation Asian American college students has transformed from arrival in the United States to present and how native and English language engagement as well as acculturation experiences have impacted the 1.5 generation Asian American college students’ perceptions of ethnic identity. The data for this study were collected via in-depth semi-structured interviews with five Asian American college students who self-identify as 1.5 generation individuals or having moved to the United States between the ages of 6 to 13. Data were interpreted using the Moustakas (1994) guidelines for conducting and analyzing phenomenological research. The essence of the 1.5 generation Asian American experience in their path toward ethnic identity discovery included five main themes: relearning school, language and acceptance, acculturation experiences, finding the self, and connecting with origin. This research provides human service professionals and others that work directly with immigrant youth with a better understanding of the ethnic identity journey and possible short- and long-term psychosocial impacts of immigration for the 1.5 generation youth. This research is my contribution to today's literature on the Asian American youth and their often invisible but always present struggles.


220 pages

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