A cross-cultural comparison of parenting styles and adolescent competencies in Asian Americans and European Americans Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/n296x223x

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  • Guided by Ogbu's cultural-ecological model of human development, this comparative study offers a comprehensive and explicit way of conceptualizing and measuring parenting within the cultural context. Multiple hypotheses are generated for the cross-cultural comparison of parenting styles in Asian Americans and European Americans. The study uses the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health survey data collected from a nationally representative sample of adolescents from grades 7 to 11. Logistic regression, ordered logit, and OLS regression models are employed to analyze ethnicity effects on parenting characteristics and adolescent competencies separately, adding adolescent gender, age, and parent education level as statistical controls. This study explains why family-based and individual-based parenting styles are culturally appropriate for competence acquisition in Asian-American and European-American families respectively. Findings of this study suggest that Asian parenting is largely motivated by the welfare of the family rather than the individual's needs. This pattern is seen in the high emphasis on education, different parental control levels over various behavior domains, characteristics of parental warmth and school involvement, and the way parents approach their adolescents. Greatly influenced by their cultural values about competencies necessary for success, Asian-American parents apparently inculcate the sense of filial obligation in adolescents with an emphasis on school success. European-American parents, on the other hand, develop the quality of self-expression in adolescents with an emphasis on self-esteem. Family-based parenting may be more advantageous to academic and behavioral competencies while individual-based parenting is relatively more effective for psychological adjustments. However, adolescents from both groups score reasonably well over measures of all competence variables. Thus, they may be all considered competent within their cultural contexts, with their differences echoing the fundamental diversity between the two parenting styles. This study presents some challenges to the traditional way of understanding and judging Asian parenting. A more complete scientific understanding of Asian Parenting would be useful for explaining competence acquisition in Asian-American adolescents.
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