Parent-Child Acculturation, Parenting, and Adolescent Depressive Symptoms in Chinese Immigrant Families

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Abstract

Using a sample of 388 father-adolescent and 399 mother-adolescent dyads in Chinese immigrant families, the current investigation tested Portes and Rumbaut's (1996) assertion that generational dissonance may indicate a family context that places children at increased risk for adverse outcomes. Study findings suggest that a high discrepancy in father-adolescent acculturation levels relates significantly to more adolescent depressive symptoms. The study further demonstrates that the quality of the parenting relationship between fathers and adolescents operates as a mediator between father-adolescent acculturation discrepancy and adolescent depressive symptoms. Specifically, a high level of discrepancy in American orientation between fathers and adolescents is associated with unsupportive parenting practices, which, in turn, are linked to more adolescent depressive symptoms. These relationships are significant even after controlling for the influence of family socioeconomic status and parents' and adolescents' sense of discrimination within the larger society.

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