Familism as a Predictor of Parent–Adolescent Relationships and Developmental Outcomes for Adolescents in Armenian American Immigrant Families

  • Sharon R. Ghazarian
  • Andrew J. Supple
  • Scott W. Plunkett
Original Paper


We investigated associations between familism, parent-adolescent relationships, and developmental outcomes for a sample of 97 Armenian adolescents in immigrant families. Our results suggested that adolescents emphasizing family needs over their own were more likely to report conformity to parents’ wishes, respect for parental authority, and disclosure to parents about activities. Familism was also related to self-esteem in a positive manner, and a negative association was found between familism and self-derogation. Additionally, our results suggested that familism may have indirect associations with self-derogation via more collectivistic parent–adolescent relations. An unexpected finding emerged as conformity to parental expectations was positively associated with self-derogation. This finding undermines the argument that familism benefits adolescents and may point to potential feelings of ambivalence for adolescents from immigrant families trying to balance cultural values of parents with those of mainstream American society.


Familism Armenian Immigrant Academic motivation Self-esteem 


  1. Bakalian, A. (1993). From being to feeling Armenian. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.Google Scholar
  2. Bardis, P. D. (1959). A familism scale. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 21, 340–341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baron, R. M., & Kenny, D. A. (1986). The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 1173–1182.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Berry, J. W., Kim, U., Minde, T., & Mok, D. (1987). Acculturative stress in Canada. International Migration Review, 21, 491–511.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Browne, M. W., & Cudeck, R. (1993). Alternative ways of assessing model fit. In K. A. Bollen & J. S. Long (Eds.), Testing structural equation models (pp. 136 –162). Newbury Park: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  6. Bush, K. R. (2000). Separatedness and connectedness in the parent–adolescent relationship as predictors of adolescent self-esteem in US and Chinese samples. Marriage and Family Review, 30(1/2), 153–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bush, K. R., Supple, A. J., & Lash, S. B. (2004). Mexican adolescents’ perceptions of parental behaviors and authority as predictors of their self-esteem and sense of familism. Marriage and Family Review, 36(1/2), 35–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Byrne, B. M. (2001). Structural equation modeling with AMOS: Basic concepts, applications, and programming. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  9. Capps, R., Fix, M., Ost, J., Reardon-Anderson, J., & Passel, J. S. (2005). The health and well being of young children of immigrants. Washington: The Urban Institute.Google Scholar
  10. Coatsworth, J. D., Maldonado-Molina, M., Pantin, H., & Szapocznik, J. (2005). A person-centered and ecological investigation of acculturation strategies in Hispanic immigrant youth. Journal of Community Psychology, 33, 157–174.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dagirmanjian, S. (1996). Armenian families. In M. McGoldrick, J. Giordano, & J. K. Pearce (Eds.), Ethnicity and family therapy (2nd ed., pp. 376–391). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  12. Farver, J. M., Narang, S. K., & Bhadha, B. R. (2002). East meets West: Ethnic identity, acculturation, and conflict in Asian Indian families. Journal of Family Psychology, 16, 338–350.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fuligni, A. J., & Pedersen, S. (2002). Family obligation and the transition to young adulthood. Developmental Psychology, 38, 856–868.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fuligni, A. J., Tseng, V., & Lam, M. (1999). Attitudes toward family obligations among American adolescents from Asian, Latin American, and European backgrounds. Child Development, 70, 1030–1044.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fuligni, A. J., Witkow, M., & Garcia, C. (2005). Ethnic identity and the academic adjustment of adolescents from Mexican, Chinese, and European backgrounds. Developmental Psychology, 41, 799–811.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gomez, M. J., & Fassinger, R. E. (1994). An initial model of Latina achievement: Acculturation, biculturalism, and achieving styles. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 41, 205–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Holmbeck, G. N. (1997). Toward terminological, conceptual, and statistical clarity in the study of mediators and moderators: Examples from the child-clinical and pediatric psychology literatures. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 65, 599–610.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hu, L., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling, 6, 1–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ingoldsby, B., Schvaneveldt, P., Supple, A., & Bush, K. (2003). The relationship between parenting behaviors and adolescent achievement and self-efficacy in Chile and Ecuador. Marriage and Family Review, 35(3/4), 139–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. LaFromboise, T., Coleman, H. L., & Gerton, J. (1993). Psychological impact of biculturalism: Evidence and theory. Psychological Bulletin, 114, 395–412.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Owens, T. J. (1994). Two dimensions of self-esteem: Reciprocal effects of positive self-worth and self-deprecation on adolescent problems. American Sociological Review, 59, 391–407.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Peterson, G. W., Bush, K. R., & Supple, A. (1999). Predicting adolescent autonomy from parents: Relationships connectedness and restrictiveness. Sociological Inquiry, 69, 431–457.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Peterson, G. W., Cobas, J. A., Bush, K. R., Supple, A., & Wilson, S. M. (2004a). Parent-youth relationships and the self-esteem of Chinese adolescents: Collectivism versus individualism. Marriage and Family Review, 36(3/4), 173–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Peterson, G. W., Rollins, B. C., & Thomas, D. L. (1985). Parental influence and adolescent conformity. Youth and Society, 16, 397–420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Peterson, G. W., Steinmetz, S. K., & Wilson, S. M. (2004b). Persisting issues in cultural and cross-cultural parent-youth relations. Marriage and Family Review, 36(3/4), 229–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Phinney, J. S., Ong, A., & Madden, T. (2000). Cultural values and intergenerational value discrepancies in immigrant and non-immigrant families. Child Development, 71, 528–539.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Plunkett, S. W., & Bámaca-Gómez, M. Y. (2003). The relationship between parenting, acculturation, and adolescent academics in Mexican-origin immigrant families in Los Angeles. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 25, 222–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Quintana, S. M., & Maxwell, S. E. (1999). Implications of recent developments in structural equation modeling for counseling psychology. The Counseling Psychologist, 27, 485–527.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Rosenberg, M. (1979). Conceiving the self. New York: Basic.Google Scholar
  30. Satorra, A., & Saris, W. E. (1985). Power of the likelihood ratio test in covariance structure analysis. Psychometrika, 50, 83–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Schmitt, D. P., & Allik, J. (2005). Simultaneous administration of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale in 53 nations: Exploring the universal and culture-specific features of global self-esteem. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89, 623–642.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Steinberg, L., & Silk, J. S. (2002). Parenting adolescents. In M. H. Bornstein (Ed.), Handbook of parenting: Vol. 1. Children and parenting (2nd ed., pp. 103–133). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  33. Steinberg, L., & Silverberg, S. B. (1986). The vicissitudes of autonomy in early adolescence. Child Development, 57, 841–851.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Suarez, S. A., Fowers, B. J., Garwood, C. S., & Szapocznik, J. (1997). Biculturalism, differentness, loneliness, and alienation in Hispanic college students. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 19, 489–505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Suárez-Orozco, C., & Suárez-Orozco, M. M. (2001). Children of immigration. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Triandis, H. C. (1989). Cross-cultural studies of individualism and collectivism. In J. Berman (Ed.), Nebraska symposium of motivation (pp. 41–133). Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.Google Scholar
  37. Verkuyten, M. (2003). Positive and negative self-esteem among ethnic minority early adolescents: Social and cultural sources and threats. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 32, 267–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Whiteside-Mansell, L., & Corwyn, R. F. (2003). Mean and covariance structure analyses: An examination of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale among adolescents and adults. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 63, 163–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sharon R. Ghazarian
    • 1
  • Andrew J. Supple
    • 1
  • Scott W. Plunkett
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Human Development and Family StudiesUniversity of North Carolina GreensboroGreensboroUSA
  2. 2.Family and Consumer Sciences DepartmentCalifornia State University NorthridgeNorthridgeUSA

Personalised recommendations