The experiences of Chinese immigrant parents raising children in the United States

2009 2009

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Abstract (summary)

The purpose of this study was to understand the experiences of Chinese immigrant parents raising their children in the United States. These parents were immersed in their culture of origin for a major part of their life and when they chose to immigrate to the United States, they removed themselves from what was familiar to a culture that was different. This transition from one culture to another entailed many challenges and might reshape the way they identify with their values. This will also affect the way they choose to parent their children. This study was to understand what their experiences were in carrying their own cultural expectations of parenting their children that were immersed in the dominant U.S. culture. In order to narrow the focus, this study tried to look at the parents expectations on helping their children maintain the Chinese cultural values of filial piety, face and emotional control.

This study entailed a literature review in the background on Chinese immigrants in the United States and the different models that immigrants, in general, make their transition from their culture of origin to the dominant U.S. culture. A section will be dedicated to parenting and the challenges faced by immigrant parents in parenting their children in the U.S. culture. In order to conceptualize some of the Chinese cultural values, the author will reviewed some studies on how Chinese immigrants view the values of filial piety, face and emotional control.

The method used in this study was a phenomenological method. Seven mothers were interviewed. The participants were recruited through social connections of the researcher. The interviews were between 40 to 60 minutes long. The interviews were transcribed and translated to English for data analysis.

The results suggest that Chinese immigrant mothers can benefit from having a place to express their experiences of parenting in a different cultural environment. The participants in this study talked about their responsibilities of being a mother and raising their children to be happy individuals with many opportunities in life. They believed that these opportunities can be achieved through a good education. In the aspect of culture, these participants were able to express their own ethnic cultural values and some participants even talked about integrating Western cultural values into their children's life. The clinical implication of this result suggests the importance of providing a safe and comfortable place for the Chinese immigrant parents to talk about their parenting experiences or struggles and also learn about government or community resources, and different parenting techniques to help them achieve their responsibility of raising children to become happy individuals.

Indexing (details)

Asian American Studies;
Social psychology;
Individual & family studies
0343: Asian American Studies
0451: Social psychology
0628: Individual & family studies
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences; Psychology; Chinese; Culture; Immigrant; Parenting
The experiences of Chinese immigrant parents raising children in the United States
Lee, Aileen
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-B 70/10, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Hopkins, Kenneth
Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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