The Meanings of Parent-Adolescent Relationship Quality Among Chinese American and Filipino American Adolescents

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


Although a growing body of research has identified ethnic differences in parent–adolescent relationship quality, less is known about the cultural meanings help by young people (and parents) with regard to these commonly understood concepts regarding parenting. We conducted eight focus group interviews with 40 Chinese American and Filipino American adolescents, asking them what it means to have a good relationship with parents. In describing good relationships with parents, two common themes emerged across Chinese American and Filipino American youth, and males and females: parent–child communication defined good relationships, as did instrumental support (showing care through parents’ actions). Both themes were salient for boys and girls, but there were subtle gender differences in descriptions of good maternal and paternal relationships. For girls, an additional prominent theme had to do with closeness. Their discussions suggest that their daily family experiences are not well-captured by mainstream (Western) notions of openness and emotional closeness in the parent–adolescent relationship.


Focus Group Good Relationship Emotional Closeness Paternal Relationship Asian American Adolescent 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.University of NebraskaLincolnUSA
  4. 4.Cornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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