Reports of Child Conduct Problems and Parenting Styles Among Asian Indian Mothers in the United States
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Parenting in the United States takes on a variety of different characteristics as a result of the cultural diversity. According to Calzada and Eyberg (2002), understanding parenting in the United States can be done through an examination of the various parental goals, values, and behaviors as displayed by our culturally diverse society. Instead, researchers have relied on assumptions of normative child-rearing based on the Caucasian culture, ignoring the role of other cultures in parenting. Recently, several studies focusing on Asian Indian families and parenting styles have focused on Asian Indians in India as well as in other countries such as England, Canada, and the United States (Farver, Narang, Bhadha, 2002; Rao, McHale, Pearson, 2003; Stopes-Roe & Cochrane, 1989). Although studies have been conducted on parenting styles among Asian Indian parents, no studies have addressed the link between mother-reported behavioral problems of Asian Indian children living in the United States and acculturation. This study fills this gap in research, using a set of questionnaires to assess parental reports of behavior problems in children, parenting constructs (such as parental involvement and monitoring/supervision), and several dimensions of acculturation, respectively. A sample of 56 Asian Indian mothers with children ages 3 to 11 from the Atlanta, Georgia area participated in this study. Findings support good internal consistency for the parent-report measure of child disruptive behavior. The hypothesis that a relationship would emerge between maternal reports of acculturation and child behavior problems was not supported. No relationship was found between maternal reports of acculturation and their reports of internalizing, externalizing or total child behavior problems. In addition, Asian Indian mothers who reported living in the U.S. for a longer period of time also reported more externalizing child behavior problems. The hypothesis that mothers would not report more behavior problems for sons than daughters was supported in that there were no significant differences in reported behavior problems with respect to gender. The hypothesis that there would be significant age effects on both the CBCL Internalizing and Externalizing scales was not supported. In addition, Asian Indian mothers who reported higher levels of acculturation also reported living in the U.S. for a longer period of time. Implications of the present study as well as directions for future research are discussed.