Authoritative Parenting Among Immigrant Chinese Mothers of Preschoolers

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Abstract

The goals of this study were: (a) to examine authoritative parenting style among Chinese immigrant mothers of young children, (b) to test the mediational mechanism between authoritative parenting style and children's outcomes; and (c) to evaluate 3 predictors of authoritative parenting style (psychological well-being, perceived support in the parenting role, parenting stress). Participants included 85 Chinese immigrant mothers and their preschool children. Mothers reported on their parenting style, psychological well-being, perceived parenting support and stress, and children's hyperactivity/attention. Teacher ratings of child adjustment were also obtained. Results revealed that Chinese immigrant mothers of preschoolers strongly endorsed the authoritative parenting style. Moreover, authoritative parenting predicted increased children's behavioral/attention regulation abilities (lower hyperactivity/inattention), which then predicted decreased teacher rated child difficulties. Finally, mothers with greater psychological well-being or parenting support engaged in more authoritative parenting, but only under conditions of low parenting stress. Neither well-being nor parenting support predicted authoritative parenting when parenting hassles were high. Findings were discussed in light of cultural- and immigration-related issues facing immigrant Chinese mothers of young children.

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