Using Constructivist Career Counseling with the Underprivileged Populations of LGBT, Immigrants, and At Risk Youth from Fatherless Home


Poster Presentation

First Presenter's Institution

Mercer University

Second Presenter's Institution

Mercer University

Third Presenter's Institution

Mercer University

Fourth Presenter's Institution


Fifth Presenter's Institution



Harborside East & West

Strand #1

Social & Emotional Skills

Strand #2

Family & Community


Using constructivist career counseling with underprivileged youth from the communities of LGBTQ, immigrants, and at risk youth from fatherless homes. These underrepresented populations have many barriers that make traditional career counseling methods unreliable. Therefore using constructivist methods address many of theses barriers and outcomes that exist for all of the specific populations. This research is relevant for the heart strand because it address diversity in the delivery and considerations for career counseling. Additionally this research is relevant to the home strand as career counseling enhances family and community support. These underprivileged populations need additional assistance and constructivist career counseling address their needs.

Brief Program Description

Constructivist career counseling with underprivileged youth especially LGBTQ, immigrants, and children from fatherless homes. This research focuses on these specific groups and using constructivism techniques to provide career counseling with these individuals.


Career counseling has a dearth of information targeting the underprivileged populations. Underprivileged populations are inclusive of many sub groups. For the purposes of this research there will be three main groups that will be the focus which are LGBTQ population, Immigrants, and at risk youth from fatherless homes. As career counseling with these populations can take many forms this particular research will focus on the best practices for these population using a constructivist career counseling lens. Therefore each population will be discussed addressing the barriers that may arise in the career counseling setting. Then from a career constructivist approach we will explore the best practices using constructivist theory.


Stebleton (2007) address the dearth of literature on immigrant career counseling services. The researchers focus on African refugees that have migrated to the United States. Three concerns discussed for this population were the impact of slavery, colonialism, racism and discrimination; the influence of living in an environment with uncertainty; integration of conflicting worldviews. Stebleton discusses the concerns of immigrant college students related to balancing multiple identities (2007). Furthermore the researcher discuss feeling related to leaving their native country and being in a foreign country. A salient statement the researcher stated was in regards to the heterogeneity of the various African immigrants. Similarly, there is heterogeneity for all immigrants but many of the concerns address are generalizable to the populations.

Fatherlessness is a trend that is growing within at-risk youth (Kincaid, Jones, Cuellar, & Gonzalez, 2011). While it is often mentioned, often times it is part of an overall broader observation like that stated by Fusick and Charkow (2004) as “lack of parental supervision.” This lack of supervision has lead many underprivileged youth to face overt barriers and obstacles that can hinder career achievement and or satisfaction.

For many underprivileged youth, especially those living in fatherless homes, their ability to have high academic achievement and career exploration is often limited due to time and opportunity (Turner, & Ziebell, 2011). Researchers identified the primary need of young people of color as being able to access the resources and systems that expose them to various opportunities (Nakkula, Danylchuk, Miller, Tamerler, 2008). Without having these valuable resource tools, many underprivileged youth are missing prospective options that could further enhance and solidify their career goals. In order to combat this, school counselors and early interventionist will need to collaborate with students and their families on course selection, internships and college and career goals. (Alger, & Luke, 2015).

A person’s gender and race perceptions can have a defining outlook on how a person navigates through society (Harris, 2014). With this combination, a person may face more obstacles and barriers in career development. One unique population that frequently face these particular struggles are those individuals who identify as sexual minorities. The underprivileged populations, known as sexual minorities, have recently discovered the need for more in-depth career counseling as they sort through their own transitional development. Researchers have noted that this diverse group of individuals has also faced overt and covert obstacles as they struggle through their own sexual identity issues, identity disclosure, race and ethnic relations as well as religious upbringing (Harris, 2014; Heslin, Bell, & Fletcher, 2012; Dispenza, 2015). A large percentage of racial minorities and sexual minorities have reported work place discrimination that has harmed their ability to achieve career goals and satisfaction (Harris, 2014). These added workplace and social stressors have contributed to many sexual minorities struggling with depression and other mental health issues (Ngamake, Walch, & Raveepatarakul, 2016).


Alger, A. L., & Luke, M. (2015). The School Counselor Perspective: Preparing Students

to be College and Career Ready within a Comprehensive School Counseling

Program. Practitioner Scholar: Journal Of Counseling & Professional

Psychology, 4(1), 17-35.

Harris, L. N. (2014). Black, Queer, and Looking for a Job: An Exploratory Study of

Career Decision Making Among Self-Identified Sexual Minorities at an Urban Historically Black College/University. Journal Of Homosexuality, 61(10), 1393-1419. doi:10.1080/00918369.2014.928170

Heslin, P. A., Bell, M. P., & Fletcher, P. O. (2012). The devil without and within: A

conceptual model of social cognitive processes whereby discrimination leads stigmatized minorities to become discouraged workers. Journal Of Organizational Behavior, 33(6), 840-862. doi:10.1002/job.1795

Kincaid, C., Jones, D., Cuellar, J., & Gonzalez, M. (2011). Psychological Control Associated with Youth Adjustment and Risky Behavior in African American Single Mother Families. Journal Of Child & Family Studies, 20(1), 102-110.

Ngamake, S. T., Walch, S. E., & Raveepatarakul, J. (2016). Discrimination and sexual

minority mental health: Mediation and moderation effects of coping. Psychology

of Sexual Orientation And Gender Diversity, 3(2), 213-226.


Nakkula, M., Danylchuk, L., Miller, K., Tamerler, K. (2008). Promoting career

development with low-income students of color. Compelling counseling

interventions: Celebrating VISTAS’ Fifth Anniversary, 115-124.

Stebleton, M. J. (2007). Career counseling with african immigrant college students: Theoretical approaches and implications for practice. The Career Development Quarterly, 55, 290- 312.

Turner, S. t., & Ziebell, J. C. (2011). The Career Beliefs of Inner-City Adolescents.

Professional School Counseling, 15(1), 1-14.

Biographical Sketch

Jack Underwood, MS, LPC,NCC is a PhD candidate therapist and counselor who is recognized as a National Certified Counselor and Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Georgia;

Z’Ashely McAfee, MS, LAPC is a Phd candidate at Mercer University. She is currently a Licensed Associate Professional Counselor in Georgia. She works at private practice in her community.;

Cherry Hymes, LAPC, MS, M. Div. the Director and CEO of New Foundations Christian Counseling Center. She is a mother, preacher, teacher, author, counselor and mentor. Rev. Hymes is a licensed associate professional therapist (LAPC) for the state of GA. She also works hard to serve her local community by offering counseling and mentorship to families who are in need.

Keyword Descriptors

Immigrants, LGBTQ, Fatherless homes, Career counseling, Constructivism

Presentation Year


Start Date

3-7-2017 4:00 PM

End Date

3-7-2017 5:30 PM

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Mar 7th, 4:00 PM Mar 7th, 5:30 PM

Using Constructivist Career Counseling with the Underprivileged Populations of LGBT, Immigrants, and At Risk Youth from Fatherless Home

Harborside East & West

Constructivist career counseling with underprivileged youth especially LGBTQ, immigrants, and children from fatherless homes. This research focuses on these specific groups and using constructivism techniques to provide career counseling with these individuals.