Managing value differences: An investigation of parent strategy use from the perspective of East Asian young adult children of immigrants

Hou, Sharon Hsiao-Jung
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University of Guelph

In this doctoral dissertation, I endeavoured to understand from a different perspective how East Asian immigrant families respond in the presence of value differences at the fundamental level. Across three studies, I developed and tested two novel measures to capture the perceived use of management of value differences strategies by immigrant parents, from the perspective of East Asian young adult children of immigrants. Items were generated by the research team and informed by a literature review. The measures were piloted with an American (Study 1) and Canadian (Study 2) sample. Item reduction analysis was conducted, and the factor structure of the refined measure was confirmed (Study 3). On the whole, there are unique strategies that immigrant parents appear to use according to children of immigrants: acceptance and tolerance of value differences with their child; and acceptance, rejection, and persuasion of the child. Convergent and discriminant validity was assessed, and direction and magnitude of correlations with external measures were largely as expected. Findings offer some clarifications on the types of strategies that East Asian children of immigrants perceive their parents to use in managing value differences. Outcome of this work can inform future research on how these strategies can potentially allow for healthier management or negotiation of differences in values, in turn promote greater family cohesion for East Asian immigrant families.

value differences, parent strategy use, East Asian young adult, children of immigrants