250939 Creating Harmony: A Guide for Families

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 1:05 PM

Heidi Alvarez, MPH , Substance Abuse Prevention Program, Asian Health Coalition, Chicago, IL
Meme Wang, MPH , School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Edwin Chandrasekar, MPPM , Asian Health Coalition, Chicago, IL
Raising children to be happy, healthy, and socially well-adjusted is difficult for parents, particularly for immigrant and refugee parents in the United States. Often, these families live in ethnic enclaves, experience social and linguistic isolation, financial difficulties, and encounter barriers to accessing health and human services. Additionally,these parents also face unique challenges such as intergenerational conflict arising from differing rates of acculturation between parents and children to mainstream society. Children tend to adapt more quickly than their parents to Western society, and adopt its culture and values.

However, strong prosocial families are shown to be the most effective protective factor against adolescent alcohol and drug use, depression, dating abuse, violence, school drop-out, and other delinquency. "Creating Harmony” is a culturally-adapted DVD program for Asian immigrant and refugee families. It provides Asian immigrant parents with effective parenting strategies and practices to strengthen and build healthy families, and develop closely bonded parent-adolescent relationships. By featuring candid interviews with Asian parents and their children about challenges they face, the program aims to prevent adolescent substance abuse and other delinquent behaviors, and encourage positive youth development among Asian families.

Developed from a theory-based parenting program, the parenting strategies presented in this DVD program have demonstrated positive outcomes for youth during their transition to adulthood. These strategies have been culturally adapted to parents of Asian adolescents by focusing on the differences between Eastern and Western parenting styles, and addressing the acculturation gap that often results in intergenerational conflict. It is available in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, and Vietnamese.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
1). Demonstrate the differences in parenting styles between Eastern and Western cultures and the challenges that these differences cause in raising healthy and happy children in disadvantaged community. 2). Explain the effects of an acculturation gap and resulting intergenerational conflict common among immigrant and refugee families. 3). Describe how parents can effectively establish guidelines and expectations for behavior, address behavioral problems, meaningful communicate and bond, and manage anger to reduce substance abuse and other delinquent behaviors during adolescence.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I coordinate the efforts of the Coalition for Asian Substance Abuse Prevention (CASAP), working to prevent adolescent substance abuse among Asian youth in Chicago.
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.