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Balancing Culture and Development: Parent-adolescent relationships in Croatian immigrant families

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Title: Balancing Culture and Development: Parent-adolescent relationships in Croatian immigrant families
Author: Samarin, Barbara
Department: Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition
Program: Family Relations and Applied Nutrition
Advisor: Chuang, Susan
Abstract: This thesis is an investigation of Croatian immigrant families as a separate and distinct group. The main goals of this exploratory study were to: (1) examine the developmental and cultural challenges for second generation Croatian-Canadian immigrant adolescents in context of their families; (2) gain greater insight into the adolescents’ perspectives on factors that may either facilitate or hinder their relationships with their parents; and (3) investigate adolsecents’ views of potential cultural differences and similarities with their parents. Twenty second-generation Croatian-Canadian immigrant adolescents participated, and a qualitative, social constructionist approach was employed. With respect to communication with their parents, youth discussed: cultural barriers, language barriers, learning about the culture, daily interactions, negotiating personal freedom, personal/private disclosure, and importance of education. Youth’s perceived cultural discrepancies with their parents focused on cultural knowledge, cultural norms and expectations, cultural pressures, educational opportunities, language barriers, personal freedom, work ethic, cultural pride, and dual cultural identity. Overall implications of the study stress the importance of maintaining good parent-adolescent relationships in immigrant families and examining the challenges and struggles experienced by second-generation immigrant youth.
Date: 2013-01
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