Reactive and proactive ethnic-racial socialization practices of second-generation Asian American parents

Linda P. Juang, Irene Park, Su Yeong Kim, Richard M. Lee, Desiree Qin, Sumie Okazaki, Teresa Toguchi Swartz, Anna Lau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Studies of Asian American parenting have primarily focused on first-generation immigrant parents. Few studies have examined the experiences of second-generation Asian American adults who now have children of their own. The purpose of this qualitative study, then, is to better understand the values, practices, and concerns of second-generation Asian American parents regarding ethnic and racial socialization. The sample included 34 Asian American parents from seven different cities across the United States. Using interviews and a focus group, the results show that (a) place, specific contexts, and transitions were important to second-generation parents' motivation behind ethnic and racial socialization, (b) parents are reactive and proactive, especially with regard to promoting an awareness of discrimination, in the racial socialization of their children, (c) parents engage in predominantly proactive ethnic socialization when passing on heritage culture, which they believe is important, but also difficult to do, (d) in contrast to ethnic socialization, passing on American culture and passing on important values (that they did not see as solely "American" or "Asian") came easily, and (e) parents consider the intersection of race and culture with religion and disability when socializing their children. Our findings highlight unique aspects of how second-generation Asian American parents engage in ethnic and racial socialization in an increasingly socially diverse world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-16
Number of pages13
JournalAsian American Journal of Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Connections Grant 70811, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation publication support, Wellesley Centers for Women 35th Anniversary Fund, Harold Benenson Memorial Research Fund, Wellesley Centers for Women Dissemination Award, Wellesley Centers for Women academic internship program, and Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program. We thank Allison Tracy for statistical analyses conducted in a draft.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 American Psychological Association.


  • Asian American
  • Ethnic-racial socialization
  • Second-generation parenting


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