In a study on Asian immigrant families, researchers have found that close family ties are crucial for their successful transition to their new country.
Dr. Susan S. Chuang, of the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, conducted the study after seeing a surge in immigration rates in the US, aiming to find out how these families are coping and thriving in their adopted countries.
"The articles in this issue examine the psychological experiences of a diverse set of immigrant families and their children who arrive in North America, Europe and Israel from many corners of the world. This research helps us to better understand the profound impact the immigration experience has on family relationships," said Chuang.
The recent surge in immigration rates means that more and more families are finding themselves struggling to adapt to new countries and cultures.
And the psychologists in the study have said that these families and their children face a host of challenges, including discrimination, isolation and financial stresses.
In one study, the scientists examined the impact of family financial stresses on the academic achievement of Chinese-American adolescents.
They found that the teenagers who were more aware of their families' economic woes were more likely to suffer depressive symptoms, especially older adolescents, and did worse in school than those who were not as affected by money problems.
A study found Chinese immigrant mothers of preschoolers were more likely to engage in high levels of authoritative parenting practices, which involves developing a close, nurturing relationship with children while also maintaining a reasonably high level of expectations and guidelines.
The findings showed that an authoritative parenting style led to fewer behaviour problems among the children in the study.
They also pointed out that, overall, Chinese parents accepted authoritative parenting practices more than previously thought.
Another longitudinal study determined that, within couples, Chinese-American parents were more consistent in their parenting messages to their children than were white American parents.
Chinese-American parents' greater control of their children's behaviour was linked to fewer behaviour problems.
In another research, scientists looked at how family obligations affected the mental health of hundreds of Chinese-American high school students in the San Francisco area.
They observed that students who were born in China felt more family obligation than students who were born in the United States.
But, those who endorsed greater family obligation were less likely to suffer from symptoms of depression, the researchers found.
"These findings highlight the important role of family obligation to Chinese-American adolescents' mental health," wrote the study's lead author Linda Juang, PhD, of San Francisco State University.
The study is published in a special issue of the Journal of Family Psychology.