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American, Chinese, and Japanese students’ acceptance of their parents’ values about academic and social activities

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This study investigates cross-cultural differences in students' acceptance of their parents' values about education and social activities. It also examines the relation between acceptance of values and such factors as type of values, knowledge of parental values, mathematics achievement, and psychological well-being. Participants were over 3,000 American, Chinese, and Japanese 5th and 11th graders and their parents. Children were given a mathematics test. The 5th graders and their mothers were interviewed and their fathers completed a questionnaire. The 11th graders filled out a questionnaire and a subsample of their mothers were interviewed. Values of 5th graders studied were the importance of doing well in mathematics and reading. Values of 11th graders studied were those of going to college, getting good grades, having many friends, being good at sports, having dates, and having a part-time job. Findings indicated that parent-child conflicts in America were limited to social activities. Compared to Asian students, American students knew more about and were in greater agreement with parents' values concerning academic achievement. Overall, students were in greater disagreement with parents in the social domain than the academic domain. In general, student knowledge of parental values was positively related to agreement with the values. Student acceptance of values was positively related to psychological well-being. (RH) Note: Part of this Paper was presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research of Child Development (Seattle, WA, April 18-20, 1991). ERIC, ED333980.

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