Parent-child cultural orientations and child adjustment in Chinese American immigrant families

Stephen H. Chen, Michelle Hua, Qing Zhou, Annie Tao, Erica H. Lee, Jennifer Ly, Alexandra Main

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35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Direct and indirect/mediated relations of (a) children's and parents' cultural orientations and (b) parent-child gaps in cultural orientations to children's psychological adjustment were examined in a socioeconomically diverse sample of 258 Chinese American children (age 6-9 years) from immigrant families. Parents reported on children's and their own Chinese and American orientations in language proficiency, media use, and social relationships. Parents and teachers rated children's externalizing and internalizing problems and social competence. Using structural equation modeling, we found evidence for both the effects of children's and parents' cultural orientations and the effects of parent-child gaps. Specifically, children's American orientations across domains were associated with their better adjustment (especially social competence). These associations were partly mediated by authoritative parenting. Parents' English and Chinese media use were both associated with higher authoritative parenting, which in turn was associated with children's better adjustment. Furthermore, greater gaps in parent-child Chinese proficiency were associated with children's poorer adjustment, and these relations were partly mediated by authoritative parenting. Together, the findings underscore the complex relations between immigrant families' dual orientations to the host and heritage cultures and children's psychological adjustment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-201
Number of pages13
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Volume50
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

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Keywords

  • Child adjustment
  • Cultural orientation
  • Immigrant families

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

Cite this

Chen, S. H., Hua, M., Zhou, Q., Tao, A., Lee, E. H., Ly, J., & Main, A. (2014). Parent-child cultural orientations and child adjustment in Chinese American immigrant families. Developmental psychology, 50(1), 189-201. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0032473