Bilinear and Multidimensional Cultural Orientations and Indigenous Family Process Among Korean Immigrant Mothers and Fathers

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Abstract

This study examined how parental cultural orientations and family process are related among Korean immigrant parents (272 mothers and 164 fathers, N = 436) and how the relationship varies across fathers and mothers. Multiple scales were used to assess bilinear and multidimensional cultural orientation toward both the culture of origin and mainstream culture. The dimensions of language, identity, and cultural participation as well as the number of years living in the United States were analyzed. The main findings include the following: (a) parents who maintain heritage culture orientation were more likely to preserve traditional parenting values and practices, (b) parental host culture orientation largely had no effect on traditional parenting, but some elements of the host culture orientation were in fact associated with stronger endorsements of traditional parenting, (c) each dimension of acculturation differentially related to traditional parenting, and (d) significant relationships were more pronounced among parenting values than practices. These patterns were largely similar across mothers and fathers. Although some mixed findings suggest the complexity of the hypothesized relationships, the present study findings highlight the importance of bilinear and multidimensional acculturation and core versus peripheral elements of culture in family process. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.

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