Exploring How West African Immigrant Parents’ Acculturation Attitude and Lived Experiences Influence Their Second- Generation Adult Children’s Use of Counseling and Guidance Services: A Transcendental Phenomenological Study

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)



Date of Award

Fall 2020


There has been a noticeable, unmatched increase of immigrants in the US for almost half a century (Schwartz et al., 2013). Strikingly, the African immigrant population has also been identified to be growing relatively fast in the US with positive job and labor contributions toward its economy (Camarota & Zeigler, 2016; Simmons 2018). African immigrants report high levels of English fluency and educational attainment but are often found living below the poverty level (Capps, McCabe, & Fix, 2011). Sub-Saharan Africans, which make up 44.6% of West African immigrants, are informed as the best educated and the least likely to have limited English proficiency; they also make significant labor contribution towards the U.S. economy (Zong & Batalova, 2017). However, there have been relatively little attention and limited studies related to their mental health and well-being (Akinsulure-Smith, 2017; Simmons; 2018). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to ascertain how the acculturation attitude, values, and beliefs of first-generation West African immigrants’ parents influence the values and beliefs of their second-generation adult children related to decisions and choices to seek and not seek counseling and guidance services. This study also investigated the implications of these choices on those children’s mental health and well-being.The study was a transcendental phenomenological study. Therefore, purposive participant selection criteria with lived experience were utilized. In collecting data and performing analysis, bracketing out preconceived knowledge of participants’ experiences and using epoché to identify the assumption of lived experience of the phenomenon and capturing the essence of its meanings was based on Husserl’s philosophy of transcendental phenomenology (Moustakas, 1994). Findings from this study represent participants’ shared descriptions of the experiences of first-generation West African immigrant parents and second-generation adult children living in the Southern region of the United States.


Amir Abbassi

Subject Categories

Counseling | Social and Behavioral Sciences