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

  • Author(s): Chen, SH
  • Hua, M
  • Zhou, Q
  • Tao, A
  • Lee, EH
  • Ly, J
  • Main, A
  • et al.

Published Web Location

https://doi.org/10.1037/a0032473
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. © 2013 American Psychological Association.

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