Career development among undocumented immigrant young adults: A psychology of working perspective.

Undocumented immigrants are among the most vulnerable of workers in the U.S. and face a unique set of barriers to obtaining adequate education and decent work. In the current study, we conducted a qualitative examination of the career development of undocumented young adults. Drawing from the Psychology of Working Theory (PWT; Duffy, Blustein, Diemer, & Autin, 2016), we examined barriers (e.g., economic constraints, marginalization) and resources (e.g., social support, critical consciousness, proactive personality) to participants’ career development and sense of work volition. As a secondary aim, we explored general work attitudes. Using Consensual Qualitative Research methods, we interviewed 12 undocumented young adults between the ages of 18 and 26. All participants were DACA recipients. Barriers that most impacted work volition were economic strain and limited mobility; resources that were most supportive for work volition were social support, institutional support, and public policy changes. Regarding work attitudes, participants endorsed a high value of a strong work ethic, a variety of motivations to work, and a high degree of resilience. Implications for counseling psychologists, career development specialists, educators, and policymakers are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)