Stress and coping of Asian young women at a college of Further Education
This study set out to examine the experiences of stress and coping of Asian young women in a college of further education. Using an emancipatory approach, within a qualitative framework, semi-structured and increasingly open interviews were conducted with 54 Asian girls, 14 non-Asian girls and 16 members of college staff. Asian young women were found to be dealing with complex and multiple issues as they faced competing tensions between the 2 values and beliefs of their families and communities and the Westernised objectives of the college system. Asian young women were found to seek support from each other rather than reveal emotional difficulties to staff, who themselves were endeavouring to cope in the competitive market culture of the FE environment. The research hypothesis, that the emotional needs of Asian girls are all but invisible to college staff, was proved to be correct in this context. Although a small minority of Asian young women were visibly experiencing extreme anxiety and difficulties in coping, the majority of Asian girls appeared to be achieving a positive sense of self, thus challenging the stereotypical notion of 'Asian girl as victim'. The girls' responses indicated that this may be an opportune time to present an alternative descriptive lexicon, that takes into account the need for heightened awareness of adolescent development in globalised, pluralistic and multi-ethnic societies.