Introduction: Asian American Parenting and Parent-Adolescent Relationships

Part of the Advancing Responsible Adolescent Development book series (ARAD)


A large research literature points to the importance of parenting practices as strong predictors of adolescent psychosocial adjustment. The research literature on parenting styles has been central to this body of work, and a number of scholars have documented ethnic group differences in the effects of parenting styles on adolescents. This work has drawn attention to diversity in the cultural meanings of parenting across ethnic and cultural groups and subgroups. Such work challenges the universal theories of socialization by highlighting cultural differences in understandings of parenting, in parenting behaviors, and in the effects of those behaviors. This chapter serves as the introduction to a volume that brings together several studies that investigate the meanings of parenting practices and parenting styles in Asian American families from diverse angles. We focus on Asian American parent–adolescent relationships because prior research suggests distinctive cultural processes in the family socialization of Asian Americans; in addition, Asian Americans are among the fastest growing ethnic groups in the United States. Through the use of multiple data sources and diverse methodological approaches we examine (1) the equivalence of survey measures of parenting for Asian and European American adolescents, (2) cultural differences in parental beliefs and their relation to parenting practices among European American and Asian American parents of adolescents, (3) a conceptualization of parental support that includes the dimension of sacrifice, empirically tested with two Asian American ethnic subgroups, and (4) the understandings of parental support and autonomy-granting expressed by Asian American adolescent boys and girls. The first chapter provides an overview of current thinking about parent–adolescent relationships and parenting in adolescence with a focus on parental support or warmth and parental control. The role of ethnicity and culture in shaping parenting practices and behaviors is discussed, including the cultural meanings of parenting in Asian American families, the distinctive roles of mothers and fathers, and the differences between Chinese and Filipino American cultural histories and family relationships. The chapter closes with a detailed outline of the book.


Parenting Style Parental Support Parenting Practice Parental Warmth American Parent 
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© Springer-Verlag New York 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.University of NebraskaLincolnUSA
  3. 3.University of CaliforniaRiversideUSA

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