Exploring mismatches between adolescent perceptions and ideals of parenting in Chinese Canadian families: Cross-cultural and cultural perspectives

Date

2016-07-27

Authors

So, Vivien Wing Yin

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Abstract

Using cross-cultural and cultural perspectives, this thesis investigated ideals of parenting and the relations between parenting mismatches and youth adjustment in a sample of adolescents from Chinese immigrant families and Canadian non-immigrant families. Asian traditional parenting techniques have been linked to both positive and negative outcomes in Asian immigrant youth. This study sought to clarify these mixed findings by focusing on adolescent interpretations of parenting, specifically their opinions of how parents should behave, which is referred to as parenting ideals. Parental behaviours of warmth, reasoning, monitoring, and harsh discipline were investigated. Results indicated that adolescents from Chinese immigrant families and Canadian adolescents desired similar levels of these parenting behaviours from their fathers and mothers, with the exception of harsh discipline behaviours. Amongst Chinese adolescents, some findings supported the hypothesis that cultural orientation is related to parenting ideals. Parenting mismatches, or discrepancies between actual and ideal parenting, were hypothesized to be related to more depressive symptoms and lower self-esteem. Findings supported this hypothesis in the dimensions of parental warmth and monitoring, but not reasoning. Low endorsement of perceptions, ideals, and mismatches in harsh discipline precluded strong conclusions about this parenting dimension. Directions for future research and implications for parent education and clinical settings were discussed.

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Keywords

adolescent well-being, parenting, parenting ideals, Chinese immigrant families

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