247358 Family intergenerational conflict and emotional well-being among children of Asian and Hispanic immigrant parents

Monday, October 31, 2011: 9:30 AM

Yong Li, MSW , School of Social Welfare, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, NY
The adaptation process has a significant impact on the emotional well-being of children of immigrants. As children acculturate faster than their parents, they face multiple stressors associated with family intergenerational conflict. This is especially the case for children of Asian and Hispanic immigrant parents for whom the cultural values and patterns of U.S. society significantly differ from those of their cultures of origin. As a result, family intergenerational conflict can negatively affect their emotional well-being.

This study examined the relationship between intergenerational conflict and emotional well-being, i.e., depression and self-esteem, in children of Asian and Hispanic immigrant parents. It analyzed cross-sectional data from the Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study. The sample (N=4288), ages 16 to 18, was 57.4% Hispanic and 31.6% Asian. Most of them (79.2%) were from middle class families; the rest were from working class or poor families. The total sample was evenly distributed between males and females.

Bivariate correlation tests suggested that family intergenerational conflict was highly correlated with self-esteem (r=.39, p<.0001) and depression (r=-.34, p<.0001). Multiple regression analyses also revealed that it was the most important predictor for both self-esteem and depression (β=.062, p<.001; β=-.071, p<.001, respectively). This remained true while a set of demographic and structural factors related to the immigration process and the children's academic performance were adjusted for.

These findings underscore a need for culturally responsive educational programs to assist immigrant parents and their children prevent and cope effectively with the stress associated with family intergenerational conflict. Further research can help understand the long-term effect of intergenerational conflict on self-esteem, depression and other mental health outcomes in children of immigrants. This would help inform policy and program development to enhance the emotional well-being of children of immigrants.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the role of family intergenerational conflict in the adaptation process of immigrant families. Describe specific stressors associated with intergenerational conflict that children from Asian or Hispanic immigrant families may experience. Discuss the potential negative impacts of family intergenerational conflict on the emotional well-being of children of Asian and Hispanic immigrant parents. Formulate culturally responsive strategies that could help Asian and Hispanic immigrant families prevent and respond effectively to intergenerational conflict.

Keywords: Immigrants, Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I conceptualized the present research and carried out its legal analysis.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.