Parent–Adolescent Relationships Among Chinese Immigrant Families: An Indigenous Concept of Qin

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Abstract

This study investigated cultural meanings of positive Chinese parent–child relationships through exploration of an indigenous concept, qin, as experienced by Chinese American adolescents of immigrant parents. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 15 first-generation and second-generation Chinese American high school students of immigrant parents, focusing on adolescents’ descriptions of the meaning of qin and parental behaviors that foster this quality. According to the Chinese American adolescents who were interviewed, being qin with parents was characterized as closeness to parents and a general sense of togetherness and harmony; showing parents their love through respect, obedience, academic effort, and appreciation; and open communication with the parents, particularly about school. This relationship is primarily fostered by parental devotion and sacrifice, particularly for the child’s education, future opportunities, success, and needs. The results highlight the role of child reciprocation of love and devotion for the parents in a qin relationship.

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