In my research, I will be dealing with a major issue that concerns an immigrant Hispanic family of five. That is both parents and three children of eight, twelve and fourteen years. I have applied a blend of two methodologies as remedies for highlighting the problematic factors that have affected the families. The Cognitive behavior therapy and the Psych educational Therapy have effectively helped in curbing the differences that the family has while adapting to the new culture. My hypothesis for this study will be focusing on processes that are unique to Hispanic migrant groups. I will focus on the developmental process and generate valuable opportunities to curb psychological change in the family (Rogler, 1994). Identifying the main differences and their cause is essential in deriving suitable short-term and long-term remedies. As a result, the general society of similar migrants, authorities, parents, and institutions will benefit from this study.
In this case, the intergeneration conflict identified is between the parent and their adolescent teenagers. First, the adaptation process for a family of this nature is complex and multidimensional (Portes, 1997). Considering that these children are experiencing a different cultural exposure, it becomes even more complicated for them. This way they must find a way to deal with the varying and diverse cultural values. Moreover, among these values, some are conflicting to those from their parents. It becomes even harder for them as they cope with their transition into adulthood (Chiu, Feldman, & Rosenthal, 1992).
Intergenerational Conflict, Acculturation vs. Assimilation
Acculturation refers to a cultural adaptation involving variations in different psychosocial dimensions of families. Due to intercultural contact, the norms, deeds and identity change (Berry, 2007). Individual and families may vary in rates at which they adapt. Several individuals and families may choose to conserve their cultural heritage via enculturation. Assimilation, on the other hand, refers to when the two cultures combine and the minor culture is absorbed by the host culture, therefore, losing most of its markers. The markers include things like language and customs. There are different types of acculturation; (a) Consonant acculturation- children acquire and abandon the heritage culture at the same level as the parents. (b) Selective acculturation- occurs when the host and the heritage culture merge into a co-ethnic community that slows the rate of assimilation. In this case, there are a few cases of intergenerational conflicts. (c) Dissonant acculturation-this is when the children adaption of new culture outshines that of their parents. (d) Role reversal- this is when the children have advanced so far ahead from their parents that they become influential. They also tend to dictate most of the family decisions.
Different aspects are worth considering when identifying the cause of the problem issues. A number may arise as a result of belonging to the Hispanic ethnic group. Secondly, some problems are associated with being an immigrant. Last but not least there are those issues that arise due to the development especially as an adolescent to adulthood. Societal values where the children raised are a skeleton that dictates the relationship between the parents and the children. As a result, they are ingredients for child development aftermaths and behavior (Kagitcibasi, 1996; Super & Harkness, 1997). It is clear that when children exposed to a differing culture from the heritage culture, we experience an acculturation gap. Children too tend to adapt to the new culture faster than the parents. They are more exposed to the original language, values, attitudes, and mannerism especially when they attend school. Also, it limits their chances of learning their heritage culture from their parents.
Personal expectations are another cause of conflict. The cultural gap between parents and children demands different expectations from either party. It stirs misunderstanding and derives friction between the child behavior and family relationship. As a result, I identified several approaches for both the children and the family as a whole.
Parenting practices have a positive impact when curbing discrepancies in acculturation gaps. In these case, effective communication is a vital tool for handling acculturation gaps. External parties like the government which is the policymakers have come in to support language diversity. It has also engaged the youth in extra-curricular activities. It is also vital to mediate between the parents and the children to settle on the best solution regarding the problems. They will allow for set values and behaviors that do not create friction between parents and children (Mc Queen, Getz, & Bray, 2003). Also, the ability of the youth to incorporate both the host and the heritage culture has helped dilute intergenerational conflict (Miranda, Estrada, & Firop-Jimenez, 2000). Parents should also instill in parental monitoring especially at this level where adolescents are so experimental. Whenever intergenerational gaps are left uncured, they end up fostering deepened complications in the family. The children become exposed to vices such as alcohol and drug abuse and tobacco smoking.
Reducing acculturation gaps between parents and children may help reduce friction in the family and monitor adolescent adjustments in immigrant families. Research has also argued that acculturation gaps have aided conserve the heritage language use and heritage culture. A study has found out that the more conservative parents are, the less the adverse adolescent outcomes. As a result, authorities, schools, and society should support heritage language for children moral development. Ways to help resolve acculturation gaps too can be deployed. For instance, schools should orient parents and inform them of the new cultures that they are not familiar with. The local authorities also should create awareness and reach out to the vulnerable families. They can be through seminars and local campaigns. Adoption of policies that could help children acquire new values without necessarily affecting the heritage culture has also been essential in curbing acculturation gaps. Therapeutic family interventions tailored to minimize the culture gap between parents and children have played a significant role even especially for youths. It has drastically reduced alcohol and substance abuse ("Immigration | Intergenerational Differences in Acculturation | Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development", 2018).
Family cohesiveness is a vital virtue and has worked for many families and has helped in externalizing youth problem. Parents should devise an approach based on the strengths of their children. They should work with the other immigrant families, local leaders, religious leaders and relevant parties like institutions to bring forth a valued cultural concept of the family bond. Future research should be put in place to counter emerging issues, especially those that come with technological changes. Other populations could also use these findings as the acculturation process is global prevalent within different ethnicities.
Immigration | Intergenerational Differences in Acculturation | Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development. (2018). Retrieved from http://www.child-encyclopedia.com/immigration/according-experts/intergenerational-differences-acculturation
Li Chiu, M., Feldman, S. S., & Rosenthal, D. A. (1992). The influence of immigration on parental behavior and adolescent distress in Chinese families residing in two Western nations. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 2(3), 205-239.
McQueen, A., Greg Getz, J., & Bray, J. H. (2003). Acculturation, substance use, and deviant behavior: Examining separation and family conflict as mediators. Child development, 74(6), 1737-1750.
Miranda, A. O., Estrada, D., & Firpo-Jimenez, M. (2000). Differences in family cohesion, adaptability, and environment among Latino families in dissimilar stages of acculturation. The Family Journal, 8(4), 341-350.
Portes, A. (1997). Immigration theory for a new century: Some problems and opportunities. International migration review, 31(4), 799-825.
Rogler, L. H. (1994). International migrations: A framework for directing research. American Psychologist, 49(8), 701.
Szapocznik, J., Rio, A., Perez-Vidal, A., Kurtines, W., Hervis, O., & Santisteban, D. (1986). Bicultural Effectiveness Training (BET): An experimental test of an intervention modality for families experiencing intergenerational/intercultural conflict. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 8(4), 303-330.
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