The Effect of Trauma Transmission: Psychosocial Development of Second-Generation Southeast Asian American College Students

Stephanie T. Nguyen

Abstract


Asian American students have a strong presence in higher education, making up 6% of the overall college population (U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2012). However, these figures hide vast disparities in the cultural and identity development of the 25 nationally recognized Asian American ethnic sub-groups (Hoeffel, Rastogi, Kim, & Shahid, 2012). Southeast Asian American students, in particular, have unique cultural experiences, such as being raised by refugee parents and navigating a bi-cultural identity. Utilizing Kodama, McEwen, Liang, and Lee’s (2002) psychosocial development of Asian American identity, this article examines the effects of psychosocial development on second-generation Southeast Asian American college students from their refugee parents’ transmitted psychological trauma. With this understanding, student affairs professionals can better assist this student population to explore their identities through the negotiation of the seven psychosocial developmental tasks.

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