Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Counseling Psychology

First Adviser

Inman, Arpana G.


Similar to Asian Americans, South Asian Americans are not only influenced by their traditional culture and familial expectations, they are also stereotyped by the model minority label as economically successful, untroubled, compliant, excelling in math and science and succeeding in spite of racial barriers and discrimination (Asher, 2002). Such cultural and familial expectations and stereotypes are likely to influence one’s career outlook and vocational decisions (Mani, 2008). Yet, South Asians have been minimally represented in the extant literature on these issues in relation to their career and vocational choices. Utilizing Gottfredson’s Circumscription and Compromise Theory the current study used regression analysis to investigate how family expectations and model minority myth may influence second-generation South Asian American’s career choice and their career decision making difficulty. It was hypothesized that (1) participants will compromise (sacrifice) prestige least in comparison to their sex-type and vocational interests when forced to consider an alternate aspiration, (2) greater adherence to family expectations will result in greater difficulty in deciding which career to pursue, (3) higher internalization of model minority myth will result in a stronger positive relationship with prestigious career aspirations when compared to sex-type and interest, and (4) greater endorsement of internalization of model minority myth will result in greater career decision difficulty. Preliminary analysis revealed significant correlations between family expectations and career decision making difficulty, career decision making difficulty and interest, career decision making difficulty and prestige, and prestige and interest. However, multiple multivariate linear regression analysis revealed no significant relationship between family expectations on career aspirations and career decision-making difficulty, as well as no significant relationship between the internalization of model minority myth and career aspirations and career decision-making difficulty. Implications for theory, research and practice for these findings are discussed.