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Child rearing goals and parent -child interaction in immigrant Chinese families

Fang Liu, University of Massachusetts Amherst


The purpose of the study was to explore parents' socialization goals and to describe the patterns of caregiver-child social interaction for the sample of 6 Chinese American toddlers, whose parents immigrated to this country recently. The theoretical framework for the study was Vygotsky's sociocultural approach which assumes that children's thinking derives from human social relations and is embedded in the sociocultural context. The study used a qualitative method of data collection and analysis. Data collection included a demographic questionnaire, two focused interviews and videotaped observations of caregiver-child interactions in everyday activities and joint play. The analysis focused on how caregivers guided and facilitated children's learning and adaptation to life in a North American setting. Parental goals were identified and five themes immerged from the interview data: a focus on learning; an emphasis on developing a loving relationship with the child; an emphasis on bringing up a moral child; an emphasis on guided independence and on adopting the values of the host culture while maintaining the values of their own cultural heritage. Links between the patterns of parent-child interaction and the parental goals were explored. The parents' conscious, creative synthesis of cultural values and practice were discussed. Implication for teachers and clinicians were suggested.

Subject Area

Preschool education|Families & family life|Personal relationships|Sociology|Minority & ethnic groups|Sociology

Recommended Citation

Liu, Fang, "Child rearing goals and parent -child interaction in immigrant Chinese families" (2007). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3289281.