Longitudinal linkages among parent-child acculturation discrepancy, parenting, parent-child sense of alienation, and adolescent adjustment in Chinese immigrant families.Dev Psychol. 2013 May; 49(5):900-12.DP
Parent-child acculturation discrepancy is a risk factor in the development of children in immigrant families. Using a longitudinal sample of Chinese immigrant families, the authors of the current study examined how unsupportive parenting and parent-child sense of alienation sequentially mediate the relationship between parent-child acculturation discrepancy and child adjustment during early and middle adolescence. Acculturation discrepancy scores were created using multilevel modeling to take into account the interdependence among family members. Structural equation models showed that during early adolescence, parent-child American orientation discrepancy is related to parents' use of unsupportive parenting practices; parents' use of unsupportive parenting is related to increased sense of alienation between parents and children, which in turn is related to more depressive symptoms and lower academic performance in Chinese American adolescents. These patterns of negative adjustment established in early adolescence persist into middle adolescence. This mediating effect is more apparent among father-adolescent dyads than among mother-adolescent dyads. In contrast, parent-child Chinese orientation discrepancy does not demonstrate a significant direct or indirect effect on adolescent adjustment, either concurrently or longitudinally. The current findings suggest that during early adolescence, children are more susceptible to the negative effects of parent-child acculturation discrepancy; they also underscore the importance of fathering in Chinese immigrant families.