Critique of This Qualitative Study

Critique of This Qualitative Study

Critique of This Qualitative Study


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In “Negotiating identity development among undocumented immigrant college students: A grounded theory study. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 60(2), 251–264.” Ellis, & Chen argues in the essence that undocumented youth in the US face a lot issues as they live with the others based on their undocumented nature. Ellis, & Chen goes ahead to state that this an aspect makes many of these youth get devastated and move out of school. Based on my vast experience as a researcher, I have to say that I find Ellis, & Chen opinions intellectual, fascinating, and possibly notably well worth following.

Ellis, & Chen application of negotiation is an aspect that shows how hard these undocumented youths face as they adapt and stay in the US. First and foremost, Ellis, & Chen denotes that about 40% of the undocumented youths do not complete their high school education as a result of the challenges they face. This suggests that the hardship these people go through and the words they are framed and called affect their self-esteem and confidence in how they associate and relate with the common people. Ellis, & Chen state that the blend of the words they are called and the hardship they face demoralizes them making them live in pain. Ellis, & Chen states that allowing these undocumented youths access education, makes them able to assimilate in the community.

Ellis, & Chen in the course of their research identified that graduation is a terrible process, which causes these youths to suffer a state of shock. Furthermore, the aspect of these youths being referred to as illegal aliens and illegal workers causes them to suffer a state of shock. The aspect of shock leads to financial anxiety and depressed motivation leads youths to drop out of school. Ellis & Chen in their study also noted that out of the privileged undocumented youths who finish high school, only about 49% gets the chance to join College.

Ellis, & Chen further noted that these undocumented youths lack state and federal student financial help thus making them lack money to pay for their schooling. These youths also have low income jobs, thus this would also limit their access to school. Access to school is an essential aspect that all students need to enjoy. This aspect of lacking financial and normal support makes it hard for undocumented youths to access a better life. Being unable to join college is an aspect that will not broaden undocumented youth mind as they can be able to join in different ventures. Ellis, & Chen research was based on identifying how to incorporate identity development into the curriculum as a way of building the self-esteem of undocumented youths. Ellis, & Chen used an interview protocol as a way of collecting and obtaining their data from a sample of eleven undocumented college students. The method of analyzing data was iterative and the methodology it was based on was the grounded theory.

The research carried out by Ellis, & Chen required them to look at the challenges that undocumented youth’s face and how they cope with others as a way of them searching for their belonging. This research also wanted to understand how these undocumented youths develop their identity amidst these challenges they face. This was by identifying how they participate in classes and their normal relationship with the documented public. Ellis, & Chen stated that it was necessary that the use of identity development theories would be a better idea to help undocumented students cope with others. This would also entitle them to join in relationship, which could see them marrying legal people and gaining their legal status and also open avenues for them regarding how they could obtain legal status. This would also make it possible for them to gain visas.

The complete research was conducted and it had staggering results as to how undocumented youths could benefit. This research viewed various themes arising from the research. These themes included challenging reflections, speaking about ways regarding how documentation status possesses a challenge to an individual’s perception of themselves and the world, the formation of identity as a continuous negotiation seizing the long-term shifts regarding understanding of emotional response and status implication to this understanding, enhancing positive attributes due to documentation struggles, and sewn within two threads, which describes bicultural identity salience. The findings of the research were discussed regarding the implication they possess to counseling psychologists, educators, and career counselors. The findings also suggested ways in which mental health professionals can empower and educate immigrant youths.

The research conducted by Ellis, & Chen cites work from various researcher like (Sullivan & Rehm, 2005), who in their study stated that undocumented immigrants face a lot of isolation and marginalization an aspect that leads them to stress, depression, and sadness as a result of their status. Sullivan & Rehm (2005) continued to state that those undocumented people who are employed face exploitation and lower wages as a result of their status. This study also cites its work from (Passel, 2005), who states that undocumented immigrants may further be limited as a result of lower rates regarding education achievement, and an increased rate of underemployment and unemployment. Passel (2005), states that these are the factors that lead to increased poverty among undocumented citizens. This study also cites work from another researcher (Ginorio et al., 1995), who stated that undocumented citizens face emotional and psychological stressors like physical health and poor mental, chronic stress, language barriers, immigration trauma, cultural role conflicts, and discrimination.

The basis of my critique regards how the research conducted its study, but failed to give full solutions to what could be done by the government to end this undocumented crisis. This study has done well in explaining and making us realize and see the pain that undocumented people face. This is an aspect that makes it possible to educate people to understand what these people feel and ways in which they can help accommodate these people.

Strength and weakness

The research has various strengths that it possesses. One of the strengths is the aspect that it was able to clearly understand the challenges that undocumented people face. This is an aspect that makes us see how we can help accommodate these people. The research has a strength regarding the aspect that identity formation is an issue that is affected by the challenges that these undocumented people face. This is an aspect that makes it possible for people to understand various ways in which we can live with them. The research has, however, some weaknesses. These weaknesses include the aspect that it was able to note challenges faced by undocumented people and ways in which various people can help grow the identity of these people, but it does not clearly give a way in which the government can go about helping undocumented people gain visas.

In conclusion, Ellis, & Chen research is very vital to educators, mental health professional, as it offers a wider scope of how they can help undocumented youth grow their identity better. This is an aspect that should be well understood as it would help alienate some of the challenges that these people face. The research should, however, go ahead and research ways in which the government can implement a faster and less tedious way of undocumented youths gaining visas.


Passel, J. S., & Pew Hispanic Center. (2006). The size and characteristics of the unauthorized migrant population in the U.S: Estimates based on the March 2005 current population survey. Washington, D.C: Pew Hispanic Center.

Sullivan, M. M., & Rehm, R. (January 01, 2005). Mental health of undocumented Mexican immigrants: a review of the literature. Ans. Advances in Nursing Science, 28, 3.)