The End Is Here :(

It’s hard to believe that we have reached the end of the semester! It feels like just yesterday we were all walking in to class anxious about what the semester would hold ahead. I am so glad to have taken this class with all of you. This was the first class I’ve taken where I felt I truly got to interact with everyone that I was taking the class with, and I think that’s one of the best things I could’ve done at Trent. At first I was kind of skeptical about doing a blog, I was nervous about putting myself out there for everyone else to read. As time went on, I was excited to get to share my perspectives with all of you and share the relevant things I could find based on the topics we discussed.

We’ve learned a lot throughout the semester about culture, acculturation, mixed race families, ethnic identity, but really what it all boils down to, as Prof. Navara has point out, is not all the material we learned but the process we have learned. Taking this class has taught me a lot of skills I never knew I had. I feel as though all our other classes just focus so much on the details and facts rather than focusing on the process through which we can learn the material. Everything was about reproducing these facts and spewing everything out during an exam. I really enjoyed being able to engage with the material this semester and I think it has helped me in more ways than one. It has helped me learn how to think critically about what I am reading and how this might have an impact on the material. As well, I have learned how to better remember what I am learning through being able to relate it to my past experiences. One of the things I enjoyed the most about this course was being able to relate the material to my previous experiences. When I lived in China and when I moved back I always thought it was cool but never realized how much I actually learned in my time there. I’ve been back for so long that I was starting to forget some experiences, but taking this course really brought my back to my time there and I loved being able to do that.

I am going to miss having this class with you guys, and I wish you all the best in the future! Now I’m just going to add some pictures of cute animals waving goodbye, because they’re cute.

Acculturating Families Part 2

Last week we unfortunately did not have time to discuss the readings, but we did get to enjoy 3 presentations that went very well ūüôā The readings discussed here will look at the ones from last week, as we had none assigned for this week. I’m going to incorporate some stuff discussed in my presentation this week that I’d like to add for my media and empirical article.

Readings

We had two readings last week, the first by Sam and Virta (2003) which looked at the impact of intergenerational value discrepancies in immigrant families and host national families and how these discrepancies had an impact on the psychological adjustment of the child. They found interestingly that intergenerational value discrepancies did not differ between immigrant and host national families. However, there were differences such that those in the host culture had higher self esteem and life satisfaction.

The next reading was by Shih and Sanchez (2005) and was a literature review that looked at the psychological adjustments in multiracial immigrants. Some of the findings were mixed such that some studies found participants were comfortable with their racial identities, while others found that they were not comfortable with it. They also found that in a clinical population those with a mixed race identity experiences more depression, but the studies that did not look at a clinical population found the participants to be happy and have no experiences with depression. With other clinical populations they also found they had more problem behaviour, lower school performance, and lower self-esteem. As well, some found that they felt accepted by their peers while others did not. The overall findings show that there can be many differences in results based on the population or type of study used. What other factors do you think might affect these differences in results?

Media

This video looks at some statistics surrounding children that are needing to be adopted and it shows various stories of children that were adopted internationally. I decided to share it because I think it is great when couples adopt in general, let alone internationally. My boyfriend is adopted and it is amazing seeing how it has affected his life, so naturally when I was picking my topic for my proposal I thought it would be interesting on how it can affect the lives of children who are adopted internationally. Not going to lie, this video actually had me in tears. I think it takes a lot of compassion to adopt internationally and it is great to see these children in supporting families. Do you know anyone who has adopted a child internationally?

Empirical Article

Similar to what I discussed in my presentation, another article (that I also used in my proposal) looked at cultural socialization, adjustment to adoption, and identity as a predictor for psychological well-being in adult Korean-born adoptees (Basow, Bookwala & McGillicuddy-DeLisi, 2008) They predicted that these three factors would have a positive correlation with psychological well-being. They used an online survey that measured well-being, ethnic identity, and adjustment to adoption. They found overall that among these international adoptees having a strong sense of ethnic identity and a good adjustment to adoption predicted a higher level of psychological well-being.

Tying Together

I chose my article and media on the topic of international adoption because I find it really interesting, but I think it could also tie in a little bit with the Sam and Virta (2003) reading. The reading discusses how there are not many differences in host national families and immigrant families. I think it might be an interesting area to look at to see if there are differences in national adoptees and international adoptees. One of the readings I looked at for my proposal said there were not many differences, but when I was conducting my research I couldn’t really find much comparing the two. I think research into this could be really interesting and potentially very beneficial for the parents of international adoptees and for the adoptees themselves. What kinds of programs do you think could be developed from research into international adoptees to help them better integrate into their new family and new culture?

References

Basow, S. A., Lilley, E., Bookwala, J., & McGillicuddy-DeLisi, A. (2008). Identity development and psychological well-being in Korean-born adoptees in the U.S. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 78(4), 473-480. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0014450

Sam, D. L., Virta, E. (2002). Intergenerational value discrepancies in immigrant and host-national families and their impact on psychological adaptation. Journal of Adolescence, 26, 213- 231.

Shih, M., & Sanchez, D. T. (2005). Perspectives and research on the positive and negative implications of having multiple racial identities. Psychological Bulletin, 131(4), 569-591.

Acculturating Families

Not sure if anyone will read this right away, but a boy in the Peterborough community named Odin has his birthday today and no one RSVP’d to his birthday party. So his mom posted on a facebook page asking people to text him and created an event to go bowling for his birthday. So just in case anyone reads this right away I’m going to share so you can wish him a happy birthday! (This just restored my faith in humanity, seriously)

Odin’s Story

Readings

The readings for this week both looked at acculturation in families and how social support influences their ability to acculturate. The first reading by Kucynski and Navara (2002) looked at socialization and how parents can help their children acculturate. It focused on how the process of acculturation is bidirectional. Often it is assumed that the parents are completely in control and the child is passive, but this is not the case. Often the child can have an influence on the parents relationship as well. It stresses the importance of the parents as creating the strategies for socialization but the children can choose to accept, manage, or oppose these models. This gives the child personal agency and autonomy from their parents and allows them to decide what influences they want. Can you think of an example of when your parents tried to create a strategy for socialization, did you accept, manage, or oppose it?

The next reading by Sakamoto (2006) looked at the how family and gender roles have an impact on non-permanent immigrant’s living in the U.S. They looked at how this group of people acculturated and looking at family/couple dynamics to see how they had an influence on acculturation. They found that these dynamics heavily influenced how people acculturated to the new host culture. They also noted that gender had an influence as well, such that females more often used personal agency to help them through the social norms of the host culture. They navigated through gender role expectations in a different culture context to determine their own personal goals and personal expectations. They discussed how some of these women felt difficulties when they first arrived because the gender expectations were much different, but by the end of their time they did not view it as being as negative as they did initially. This was also influenced by their preconceptions before going to the U.S. How do you think you might react if you moved somewhere that had much different gender roles than here? (It might actually be nice, haha)

Discussion

This week we had three really great presentations! You all did really well ūüôā I’m glad I was able to go this week, no more sickness and emergencies! Unfortunately we did not get much time to talk about the readings, but we did talk a bit about the diagrams that were used in the Sakamoto (2006) reading and how people felt about them. I personally found them hard to look at at first, but after reading again I feel as though they really helped me in gaining a better understanding of the readings. I liked that the readings both focused on personal agency, how children are not always controlled by their parents, and how the women from Japan also had a sense of personal agency.

Empirical Article

The article I found by Garcia-Ramirez, de la Mata, Paloma, and Hernandez-Plaza (2010) looks at the use of liberation psychology to aid in acculturation integration. Looking at the stories of nine different women who immigrated to Spain. It looks at how immigrants often face issues with oppressive conditions that might lead to difficulties in acculturating. It proposes a method of acculturation through integration to help with issues of oppressive conditions and help immigrants integrate successfully into their new culture. I chose this article because I thought it was interesting that it discusses issue people can face with oppressive conditions (such as the women in the Sakamoto article) and a successful way of trying to get past this.

References

García-ramírez, M., de la Mata, M.,L., Paloma, V., & Hernández-plaza, S. (2011). A liberation psychology approach to acculturative integration of migrant populations. American Journal of Community Psychology, 47(1-2), 86-97. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10464-010-9372-3

Kuczynski, L., & Navara, G. S. (2006). Sources of innovation and change in socialization, internalization and acculturation. In Killen, M. & Smetana, J.G., (Eds) Handbook of Moral Development. Lawrence Earlbaum Associates, Inc. New Jersey.

Sakamoto, I. (2006). When family enters the picture: The model of cultural negotiation and gendered experiences of Japanese academic sojourners in the United States. Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology, 12(3), 558-577.

Child Acculturation

Readings

The readings for this week looked at how children’s roles in their family develop as they acculturate. The reading by Farver, Bhandha, and Narang (2002) examined psychological functioning and the acculturation process for Asian Indian adolescent immigrants living in America. They found that despite being American born these adolescents identified as Asian and Indian rather than American. This suggested that they were heavily influenced by their parents since they identified more with the cultural group their parents identified with. The next reading by Navara and Lollis (2009) looked at parent child relationships of Jamaican families living in Canada. They found that the children in these families maintain Jamaican values that are heavily influenced by their mothers’ and grandmothers’. The last reading by Vollebergh, ledem, and Raajmakers (2001) also looked at parents’ cultural influences on their children. They also found, like the other studies, that parents’ cultural influences have a strong influence on their children’s cultural orientation.

Discussion

Unfortunately I was unable to attend lecture again this week because I had a family emergency. (I promise I really wanted to be there, but I was not able to be) I hope the presentations went well! I am not sure what was discussed in class but one thing that I found interesting from this reading is how strong the influence of the parents was on their children in terms of cultural values. We discussed that teenagers have a strong peer influence on their beliefs, and this was supported by the Vollebergh et al. (2001) study in which as adolescents grew older they did not have as strong of an influence from their parents. When you were an adolescent did you identify most with your parents values than when you got older? If not what do you think may have been the reasons for this?

Media

Hesitant Parents Explain Their Unease With Revamped Sex Ed Curriculum

The article I found from The Globe and Mail discusses the backlash against the changing sex ed curriculum in Ontario. With such a massive change in the curriculum there are many parents that agree with it, but there are many that do not. The article discusses how it is necessary for these changes because children should be aware of their own bodies and various topics such as same-sex relationships, sex and technology, and the various types of sex. The curriculum has been designed based on developmental levels. I chose this article because they discuss that there might be issues among immigrant families and Canadian families with regards to the values being taught in this curriculum. We know from the readings that parents have a heavy influence on their children’s beliefs so I think it would be interesting to see how this change in curriculum might effect children’s beliefs towards what they are going to be learning. Do you think that parents views towards sex and sexuality will influence the children more than what they are learning in school? If not, why do you think what they learn in school would take precedent over their parents beliefs?

Empirical Article

After seeing this news article I decided to do a little research on views that might differ towards sexual health. The article I found by Meshke and Peter (2014) looks at Hmong American parents’ and their views towards promoting sexual health. They found that this specific group differed from more traditional views that are against the promotion of sexual health education. The parents in this group supported their children having a comprehensive sex education. They believed that this would enhance their communication with their children and would give them the opportunity to help in understanding what they might be learning. I thought this was interesting because in Ontario with the change in curriculum there might be many cultural groups that have a strong religious identity that might be opposed to these changes. For example, Catholic belief systems commonly promote abstinence as sex education, but this is not an effective way of teaching safe sex practices and could put youth at a higher risk of STIs and pregnancy. However, despite groups that might be opposed there might also be groups that strongly support it because they want their children to be properly educated. Relating this back to how strong of an influence parents have on their child’s beliefs I think that a change like this could be good or bad depending on the beliefs because it could help parents teach children their beliefs, or it could be bad because it could be different from what the parents want and the children would either identify more with their parents values, or with the values they are being taught.

Tying Together

Although I was unable to attend lecture this week I think the topics are very interesting. It is clear that parents have a large influence on their children’s beliefs and orientation. The media piece and empirical article I chose as a possible scenario where parents belief systems might be challenged and I believe it would be an interesting area to look into to see how parents beliefs might influence children either in support or against this curriculum. Do you think this change in curriculum is going to be more beneficial or detrimental for parents?

References

Farver, J. M., Bhadha, B. R., & Narang, S. K. (2002). Acculturation and Psychological Functioning in Asian Indian Adolescents. Social Development, 11(1). 11 -29.

Keenan, R. (2015, March 6). Hesitant parents explain their unease with revamped sex ed curriculum. Retrieved March 13, 2015, from http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/parenting/hesitant-parents-explain-their-unease-with-revamped-sex-ed-curriculum/article23312617/

Meschke, L. L., & Peter, C. R. (2014). Hmong american parents’ views on promoting adolescent sexual health. American Journal of Sexuality Education, 9(3), 308-328. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1614376386?accountid=14391

Navara G.S. & Lollis, S. (2009). How adolescent children of African-Jamaican immigrants living in Canada perceive and negotiate their roles within a matrifocal family. Family Processes, 48(3), 441-458.

Vollebergh, W. A. M., Iedem, J., & Raaijmakers, Q. A. W. (2001). Intergenerational transmission and the  formation of cultural orientations in adolescence and young adulthood. Journal of Marriage and    Family, 63(4), 1185-1198.

Well-Being and Ethnic Identity

I just want to apologize first for missing the lecture this week! Unfortunately I was not feeling really well so I was unable to attend ūüė¶ However, I am sure that you all did amazing on your presentations!

Readings

Both of the readings this week focused on ethnic identities in adolescent immigrants and the benefits of establish an ethnic identity. The first article by Abu-Rayya (2005) looked at ethnic identities in cases where they have mixed parents living in Israel. It was interesting that they found that if they were living in a host society different than their parents ethnicity, if they identified strongly with either identity (Arab or European) then they had an overall better quality of life and self-esteem. They hypothesized that the participants would identify more with an Arab ethnicity than European and their results supported this hypothesis.

The next reading by Berry, Phinney, Sam, and Vedder (2006) also looked at ethnic identity in youth that are acculturating. They pointed out that identifying with their culture of origin and the new culture through the process of integration is the most successful adaptation that can have psychological well-being benefits. They divided participants into four profiles based on their ethnic identification; national profile in which they were highly oriented to the society they were living in, integration profile in which they identified highly with both their culture of origin and national culture, ethnic profile in which they identified most with their culture of origin, and diffuse profile in which they they were proficient in their own culture but did not identify strongly with it. They found that in terms of discrimination those who experienced less discrimination were in the integration and national profiles.

Discussion

Unfortunately I cannot discuss how class went, but I found it interesting in the Abu-Rayya article how having an Arab father and European mother lead to a stronger Arab identification in the adolescents. It made me wonder if the mothers were Arab and the fathers were European would they identify more with a European culture? What factors might influence this? I think that it could be because they play a strong role in the family dynamic, so it makes me wonder how this would work in culture where the mother plays a stronger role in the family how this would change, if they would identify more with the mother than the father.

Media

This video looks at a group of people that identify with various ethnic identities and some of the struggles they face in society because they are ‘ethnic’. Some of the issues they discuss are people asking them if they speak a language to help translate just because they look like they are from a certain group, or being told they’re from a certain ethnic group because of their skin colour. I thought it was kind of interesting and could relate back to the readings because these could be factors effecting how someone acculturates. It could easily create confusion for those moving to a new country, or those who have lived here for a while, and possibly have an effect on their psychological well-being. I think it could potential create a discordance between who they think they might be and who people are telling them they are. Have you ever had any experiences where someone assumed you were from a different culture than you were? Why do you think they may have assumed this (for reasons perhaps other than the colour of your skin)? And did it have any impact on what culture you identify with?

Empirical Article

The article by Schwartz et al. (2013) looks at the relationship between acculturation and well-being among first and second generation immigrants. Acculturation was defined in terms of heritage and American culture and values (such as being from an individualist or collectivist society). Well-being was defined in terms of subjective, eudaimonic and psychological aspects. The data was collected from 2,774 immigrant students from 6 different ethnic groups. They found that those with strong individualistic values had a better psychological well-being and that those who had a strong sense of identity had a better psychological well-being. Whether they associated more with the American culture or their origin culture or both, they were more likely to have good psychological well-being than those who rejected either culture. They found that there were no significant differences among first and second generation or between gender.

Tying Together

The readings from this week both talked about ethnic identity and how it relates to psychological well-being. Finding that those who have a stronger ethnic identity, regardless of which ethnicity they identify with, have a greater psychological well-being. I chose the youtube video because I thought it might be interesting to look at how people making assumptions might affect their identification and overall well-being. It could potentially weaken their ethnic identity and therefore their overall well-being. What other factors do you think might weaken someone’s ethnic identity? We have touched on various topics in class about factors influencing the acculturation process, so these would also play a role in developing an ethnic identity. Lastly, the article I chose because I thought it might be interesting to test if there was a difference between first and second generation immigrants but they found that there were no significant differences. The article tied in with the readings from this week because it also looked at the impact of ethnic identity on psychological well-being.

References

Abu-Rayya, H. M. (2005). Ethnic self-identification and psychological well-being among adolescents with European mothers and Arab fathers in Israel. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 30, 545-556.

Berry, J. W., Phinney, J. S., Sam, D. L., & Vedder, P. (2006). Immigrant youth: Acculturation, identity and adaptation. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 55(3), 303-332.

Schwartz, S. J., Waterman, A. S., Uma√Īa‚ÄźTaylor, A. J., Lee, R. M., Kim, S. Y., Vazsonyi, A. T., . . . Williams, M. K. (2013). Acculturation and well‚Äźbeing among college students from immigrant families. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 69(4), 298-318. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jclp.21847

Intergenerational Transmission

Readings

The readings for this week looked at the intergenerational differences between parents and their children. The Hynie, Lalone, and Lee (2006) article looked at Chinese immigrant families with regards to mate selection. More specifically looking at the differences between what parents wanted of a mate for their child, and what the child would want for a mate with regards to characteristics. Interestingly they found that parents valued traits mostly related to family connectedness whereas children found this to be the least important. Children who valued family connectedness they found was as a reflection of their parents beliefs. This is similar to the findings from Kwak and Berry (2001) which found that there were generational differences between the parents’ and children’s views of on authority and children’s rights which also related back to the family structure. However, there were differences in how the family influenced these views within the various Asian groups that they looked at. The Kwak (2003) article found that the children of immigrant families from collectivist cultures experience a conflict over autonomy rather than experiencing more intergenerational conflicts and difficulties with their parents.

Take Home Message

I just wanted to say sorry again that I didn’t have the readings done for this week! I found these readings to be really interesting in how different parents views can be from children, but there is clearly still evidence that children are heavily influenced by their parents. One thing that really stood out to me is the differences in mate selection. I was a little thrown off by having us lead the discussion on the chapters but I think that this can be really good to get us more engaged with the readings. It’s nice being able to read the articles and not having to worry about what we need to memorize. Have you ever had an experience where your parents didn’t agree with the person you were dating? How did you deal with this?

Popular Media

This video is two people discussing their experiences dating outside their own culture/religion. The male discusses that he broke up with his girlfriend because she was from a different culture and that he did not want to go against his family, but he still dated her to begin with. They both discuss how their current relationships might affect their future and how their parents are also concerned with this. I thought this was interesting because although they might want to date someone who is different they would rather be with someone who has the same values and beliefs as they do. Have you ever dated someone who was of a different culture or race? If you’re still with them, did it work because you have similar beliefs, despite different backgrounds? If it didn’t work, what were the main reasons for this?

Empirical Article

The article I found by Nesteruk & Gramescu (2012) is a qualitative study that interviews 35 youth that are second generation from immigrant families about their mate selection. They found that young adults of immigrant families are influenced in terms of mate selection by their origin culture and their parents expectations for dating and marriage, their degree of acculturation, their gender and birth order, and their own ideals of who they would want to marry. Many of the participants acknowledged that they were influenced by their parents views in cases where the parents hold endogamous views of the culture and family ties. They reported that parents were more likely to be against certain groups based on historical conflicts but the children did not hold these views. Men were more likely to be allowed to date than women, and younger siblings more than older siblings. They found that when the children were younger they rejected their parents ideals on who they wanted them to marry but as they matured and started to identify more with their own culture they agreed more with their parents.

Tying Together

Mate selection is a pretty big process in people’s lives and there are many factors that can influence who we choose. The literature shows that we most often choose based on our values and beliefs, which are usually more similar to our parents beliefs as we mature. The article and video I chose go along with the readings because they show how our parents influence our choices.

References

Hynie, M., Lalonde, R. N., & Lee, N. S. (2006). Parent-child value transmission among Chinese immigrants to North America: The case of traditional mate preferences. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 12(2), 230-244.

Kwak, K. (2003). Adolescents and their parents: A review of intergenerational family relations for immigrant and non-immigrant families. Human Development, 46(2-3), 115-136.

Kwak, K., & Berry, J. W. (2001). Generational differences in acculturation among Asian families in Canada: A comparison of Vietnamese, Korean, and East-Indian groups. International Journal of Psychology, 36(3), 152-162.

Nesteruk, O., & Gramescu, A. (2012). Dating and mate selection among young adults from immigrant families. Marriage & Family Review, 48(1), 40-58. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01494929.2011.620732

Influences on Cultural Transmission

The articles from this week looked at the various ways of cultural transmission and differences in cultural transmission within the family dynamic. The most notable thing that stood out to me in the chapter by Berry, Poortinga, Segall, and Dasen (2002) was the discussion of the different influences on cultural transmission; vertical, horizontal, and oblique. The vertical influence is cultural transmission that comes directly from parents in which they teach their children the norms, values, and beliefs of their culture. The horizontal influence is cultural transmission that comes from your peers or friends. The oblique influence is cultural transmission that comes from other adults such as other family members, teaches, and coaches. The article by Costigan and Dokis (2006) looked at the different ways family members acculturate. Noting that mothers are more likely to stay with their cultural practices or behaviours than fathers or children. Another interesting point they found was that children would agree with their mothers more about cultural values than the fathers would.

Take Home Message

I’ll admit I had a bit of trouble getting through the readings for this week, not just because the chapter was dry but I was really sick so unfortunately I did not participate in class discussion much. Also, you guys did really good on your presentations! I really enjoyed watching them and the articles were really interesting. With regards to the readings and class discussion I really thought it was interesting that mothers are more likely to stick to their cultural beliefs than fathers and it made me wonder what might influence this. I also thought it was interesting how children are easily influenced by adults and their peers and how learning new things from their peers might conflict with what their parents believe. This leads me into my media post for this week!

Popular Media

Okay so I know this skit isn’t super recent but the video I decided to include was the Russell Peters comedy skit on immigrant parents. I’ll warn you guys now that there is some offensive language and many jokes are made against a variety of races, I don’t take any of these seriously but I think this clip is pretty funny! In class we’ve discussed many times how many cultures different when it comes to disciplining their child and he touches on the difference between Caucasian parents vs. Indian parents and how the parents react to the child telling them to f**k off when asked to do chores. I think it’s interesting how our peers can have such a big influence on us but it can really conflict with our parents beliefs! The part I’m referring to starts around 3:00 minutes in!

Empirical Article

The article by Sherry and Orenstein (2014) looks at some of the issues that parents face when raising their children in a different country because of the influence of the host culture on their children. It discussed the importance of passing on cultural values and traditions to children because many values can disappear from generation to generation. Adolescents are going through a very critical time in their development and it is in this stage that they are very easily influenced. They looked at two clinical examples to emphasize the importance of passing on values and traditions and as examples of how mothers play a crucial role in helping their children come to terms with issues they may have with conflicting values from their origin culture and their host culture. They pointed out that the mother is an essential component to help children integrate their host culture into their own without creating too much conflict. I thought this article was kind of interesting because while it wasn’t necessarily a quantitative like most articles I have shared, it looks at the fact that children can have difficulties adapting to a new culture and how the role of the mother is very important in making this transition easier.

References

Berry, J. W., Poortinga, Y. H., Segall, M. H., & Dasen, P. R. (2002). Cross-cultural psychology: Research and applications (2nd ed.). New York, NY, US: Cambridge University Press.

Costigan, C. L., & Dokis, D. P. (2006). Similarities and differences in acculturation among mothers, fathers, and children in immigrant Chinese families. Journal of Cross-cultural Psychology, 37(6), 723-741.

Sherry, S., & Ornstein, A. (2014). The preservation and transmission of cultural values and ideals: Challenges facing immigrant families. Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 34(5), 452-462. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07351690.2013.846034