Family assistance attitudes and family cultural conflict: A comparative study of second-generation Asian American and native-born European American emerging adults

  • Leu J
  • Schroth C
  • Obradovic J
 et al. 
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Research shows that ethnic minority and immigrant youth hold stronger attitudes about helping their families compared with native-born European American peers. Though often portrayed as burdensome, there has been limited empirical research on how family assistance attitudes affect the mental health among diverse emerging adults. We examined the influence of various attitudes toward family assistance on family cultural conflict, a mental health risk factor. Results from our survey showed that second- generation Asian Americans (N ? 328) rated family assistance as more important than nonimmigrant European American (N ? 343) college students, and that this was partly explained by differences in interdependent self-construal. As predicted, higher levels of self-expectations of daily family assistance were associated with lower self-reported family cultural conflict among second-generation Asian Americans but not among native-born European Americans. Findings suggest that for second-generation Asian Americans who are emerging adults, an incongruency between self- and family expec- tations for assistance may be more predictive of mental health risk than for nonimmi- grant European Americans. Potential implications for mental health prevention among ethnic minority, immigrant-emerging adults are discussed.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Asian American
  • Family assistance
  • emerging adults
  • interdependence
  • second generation

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