Family Processes in Immigrant and Ethnic Minority Families

This line of research examines broadly how cultural, social, and economic context shape parenting practices, parent-child interactions, and child adjustments. I am particularly interested in parental psychological control (e.g., shame socialization, guilt induction, upward social comparison), and specifically how cultural beliefs about parental control shape parenting practices which in turn impact child adjustment.

1. The Raising My Child Study: The Tiger Mother Premise
2. Developmental Correlates of Parental Control
3. Stress and Well-being in Migrant Children and Families in China

The Raising My Child Study: The Tiger Mother Premise

This one-year longitudinal study examines the prospective associations between maternal psychological control and child emotional and academic outcomes in the Chinese diaspora (Hong Kong, Beijing, and Los Angeles). Based on theories of social change, how may levels of Chinese parents use of psychological control differ across the three societal contexts? To what extent may differences in application and consequences of parental control be explained by the different social economic conditions?

Research team: Joel Jin, M.A., Anna Lau, Ph.D. (UCLA), Heejung Park, Ph.D. (Bryn Mawr College), Qiaobing Wu, Ph.D. (Chinese University of Hong Kong), Chao Fang, Ph.D. (University of Science and Technology, Beijing)

Developmental Correlates of Parental Control

How do cultural factors relate to parenting, mother/father-child relationships, marital relationships, and child wellbeing in Asian American families? In this multi-informant (mother, father, child), multi-method (observation of family conflict task, cognitive assessment, survey questionnaires) study, we examine cultural and familial factors associated with child adjustment.

Research team: Christine Ta, M.A.

Stress and Wellbeing in Migrant Children and Families in China

There are currently an estimated 230 million migrant workers and 20 million migrant children in Chinese cities. Migrant families do not enjoy the rights and privileges in the city and, in many ways, live as second-class citizens (e.g., migrant children are not allowed to go to mainstream public schools and have to attend migrant schools). What are the unique stressors that migrant children face and how do they cope with their stress? How do child (e.g., temperament), parental (e.g., parental support) and contextual (e.g., social discrimination) characteristics influence children’s perceptions of self, academic achievement and peer relationships?

Research team: Gabriel Qi, Maria Wong, Ph.D. (Stevenson University), Ping Yao, PsyD. (Peking University, Beijing)