Socialization Goals of First-Generation Immigrant Indian Parents: A Q-Methodological Study


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Abstract

This research utilized Q methodology (Stephenson, 1953) to uncover first-generation immigrant Indian parents' (N = 18) socialization goals for their children. Participants carried out the Q-sort task in response to two questions. Through the first question, we explored participants' socialization goals for their children in the United States, whereas through the second question, we explored participants' perception of the socialization goals of parents raising children in India. We also conducted follow-up semistructured interviews with a representative set of participants. Factor analyses of the participants' Q-sorts yielded two dominant patterns. The first pattern—blended—was a combination of autonomy and family-centered socialization goals, whereas the second pattern—traditional—emphasized ethnic behaviors and family-centered values. Taking the combinations of ways that the parents could sort in response to the two questions, there were four viewpoints among the Indian immigrant community. Parents in the first group integrated children's autonomy and family-centered behaviors in their goals and believed that parents in India did the same. Parents holding the second and third viewpoint endorsed ethnic behaviors and family-centered values for their own children. Whereas parents in the second group perceived parents in India to have goals similar to their own, parents in the third group perceived Indian parents' goals as blended. Participants holding the fourth viewpoint emphasized their children's autonomy and family-centered behaviors, but believed that parents in India put greater emphasis only on family-centered values and ethnic behaviors. The discussion includes the implications of the four viewpoints for parental and child well-being.

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