"I Am Strong. Mentally Strong!": Psychosocial Strengths of International Graduate Students of Color release_flj7trnwbzb4plxusyhvo6ste4

by S Anandavalli, L. DiAnne Borders, Lori E. Kniffin

Published in The Professional Counselor by The Professional Counselor at the National Board for Certified Counselors.

2021   Volume 11, p173-187


Positioned at a unique intersection of managing academic pressures and embodying racial and ethnic minority identity status, international graduate students of color (IGSCs) are frequent targets of multiple stressors. Unfortunately, extant counseling literature offers counselors little information on the psychosocial strengths IGSCs employ (e.g., strong familial bond, friendships) to cope with such stressors. To address this gap, interviews with eight IGSC participants were conducted and analyzed using interpretive phenomenological analysis and the lens of the intersectionality framework. Five psychosocial strengths were identified—familial support, social connections, academic aspirations and persistence, personal growth and resourcefulness, and resistance and critical consciousness. Recommendations for employing an asset-based approach in counseling and counselor education are offered.
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