International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 21–32

Individual Assimilation Status and Intergenerational Gaps in Hispanic Refugee Families

  • Noorfarah Merali

DOI: 10.1023/B:ADCO.0000021547.83609.9d

Cite this article as:
Merali, N. International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling (2004) 26: 21. doi:10.1023/B:ADCO.0000021547.83609.9d


This study assessed relationships between Hispanic refugee parents' and adolescents' assimilation status and their perceived and actual experiences of intergenerational differences in views of acceptable and unacceptable adolescent behaviours. Fifty parent-adolescent dyads from Central and South America rated the acceptability of 24 prototypical culture shedding behaviours from their own perspective as well as from the perceived perspective of the other family member. The individual assimilation status of both parents and adolescents was related to the actual degree of intergenerational gaps in the family, but not to perceived gaps, attesting to a lack of awareness of the role of individual level cultural changes in family dynamics. This blind spot may underlie the tendency of parents to attribute assimilative adolescent behaviours to disobedience and of adolescents to attribute parental reactions to misuses of parental authority. Implications for counselling are discussed.

acculturationassimilationintergenerational conflictfamily conflictbehaviors

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Noorfarah Merali
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AlbertaEdmontonCanada