Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 85–96 | Cite as

Intergenerational Cultural Dissonance, Parent–Child Conflict and Bonding, and Youth Problem Behaviors among Vietnamese and Cambodian Immigrant Families

  • Yoonsun Choi
  • Michael He
  • Tracy W. Harachi
Empirical Research


Intergenerational cultural dissonance (ICD)—a clash between parents and children over cultural values—is a frequent issue for Asian American youth. Using longitudinal data from the Cross Cultural Families Project, this study examines the mechanisms by which ICD contributes to problem behaviors, including whether ICD predicts parent–child conflict, whether parent–child conflict then has a direct effect on youth problem behavior, and whether positive bonding with parents mediates the effects of such conflict on youth problem behaviors among Vietnamese (n = 164) and Cambodian (n = 163) families with adolescents [average age = 15.2 years (SD = 1.05)]. The results from the path analyses show that, in both groups, ICD indirectly predicts problem behaviors by increasing parent–child conflict, which in turn weakens positive parent–child bonding. Interventions that target youths’ perception of intergenerational cultural gaps, help them manage conflict, and help strengthen bonds with parents may prevent problem behaviors among Cambodian and Vietnamese families. This study contributes to inform how to effectively prevent problems and difficulties among these families.


Intergenerational cultural dissonance Parent–child conflict Positive parent–child bonding Immigrant family Problem behaviors Vietnamese youth Cambodian youth 



This study was supported by a Research Scientist Development Award from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) (K01 MH069910) to the first author and funded by NIMH and National Institute of Child and Human Development (NICHD) (5 R01 MH059777-05) to the third author.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social Service AdministrationUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.School of Social WorkUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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