Intergenerational conflict in korean immigrant homes and its effects on children’s psychological well-being

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This study is concerned with the nature of parent-child conflict in the Korean immigrant home and how such conflict impacts on children’s self-esteem, depressive symptoM.S., sense of marginality and subsequently their coping behavior. Acculturative stresses of immigrant families and potential cultural sources for intergenerational conflict are explored. To test the relationship between intergenerational conflict and its impact on children’s psychological well-being, the study relies upon 312 cases of survey data that were collected by Shalom Christian Counseling Center in Los Angeles in 1999-2001. Using a series of bivariate relationships and multiple regression analyses, we evaluate the relative effects of intergenerational relations and perceived marginality along with several demographic factors on dependent variables: self-esteem, depressive symptoM.S., and coping behavior. Our findings clearly demonstrate that conflictual intergenerational relations impact negatively on the psychological adaptation process of Korean immigrant children. Korean immigrant children whose conflict is not dealt with or resolved well tend to exhibit high depressive symptoM.S. and low self-esteem, which also are associated with their perception of marginality in larger society. Females are more associated with depressive symptoM.S., but less on unhealthy coping behavior. children whose residency is relatively shorter are less likely to show depressive symptoM.S. and subsequently to engage less in negative coping behavior than are those who have resided longer in the U.S. These children tend to experience more unhealthy coping behavior than do children having stable relations with their parents at home. The implication of this study is discussed, and possible intervention methods are suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-93
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Intergenerational Relationships
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Archaeology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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