Parenting–Acculturation Match and Psychosocial Adjustment for Academically Gifted Chinese American Adolescents

Tzu Fen Chang, Desiree B. Qin, Ivan H.C. Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Grounded in person–environment fit theory, we examine how different levels of parenting–acculturation match are associated with gifted Chinese American students' psychosocial adjustment. This study identifies parenting profiles indicated by psychological control and decisional autonomy granting and adolescents' acculturation profiles indicated by mainstream American culture and Chinese culture orientations. Background: According to person–environment fit theory, optimal adjustment occurs when there is a match between individuals' environments and needs. However, it remains understudied whether academically gifted Chinese American adolescents have optimal psychosocial adjustment when their acculturation orientation matches with their family's parenting profile. Method: Using self-report questionnaires, this study assessed 222 academically gifted Chinese American adolescents' perceptions of parental psychological control and autonomy granting, American and Chinese culture orientation, and psychosocial adjustment (depression, anxiety, social acceptance, and self-esteem). Latent profile analysis was used to identify parenting and acculturation-orientation profiles. Results: Three parenting profiles were identified: high control oriented (14.9%; i.e., high in psychological control and low in decisional autonomy granting), slight control oriented (44.6%; i.e., psychological control slightly exceeding decisional autonomy granting), and child oriented (40.5%; i.e., low in psychological control and high in decisional autonomy granting). Given that all the adolescents in the sample slightly preferred mainstream American culture to Chinese culture, three levels of parenting–acculturation match were identified: a strong match (for those in child-oriented families), moderate match (for those in slight-control-oriented families), and weak match (for those in high-control-oriented families). Conclusion: The adolescents with a strong parenting–acculturation match reported lower anxiety and higher social acceptance and self-esteem than those with a weak match. Implications: Practitioners working with academically gifted Chinese American adolescents should seek to understand adolescents' acculturation and the parenting practices in their families and acknowledge how their psychosocial problems are associated with a mismatch in adolescent acculturation and parenting. Strategies for mitigating psychosocial problems in relation to an acculturation–parenting mismatch are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)619-636
Number of pages18
JournalFamily relations
Volume70
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 National Council on Family Relations

Keywords

  • academically gifted adolescents
  • Chinese Americans
  • parenting
  • psychosocial adjustment

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