Title

Children of Immigrants: Parenting the Future of America

Presenter Information

Dimple VadgamaFollow

Proposal Focus

Research

Abstract

According to Cohn (2015), by the year 2065 about one-in-three Americans would be an immigrant or have immigrant parents projecting that incoming immigrants, and their children will steer majority of the United States (U.S.) population growth in the next 50 years. According to the projections for 2065, 78 million will be immigrants and 81 million will be individuals born in the U.S. to immigrant parents (see Figure 1). After immigrants from Mexico and China, the third largest immigrant group residing in the U.S. is from Asian-Indian origin. The percentage of Asian-Indian immigrants compared to all other immigrants in the U.S. has consistently proliferated. Considering this pattern of incoming Asian-Indian immigrants, research on parental involvement among Asian-Indians raising children who are U.S. citizens and future Americans is sparse. According to a national level study on paternal involvement with young children, “virtually no research has examined fatherhood among immigrants. Eighteen percent of current births are to mothers born outside of the U.S.; if the fathers also are foreign-born, this is a major gap in existing knowledge” (U.S. Department of Education, 2001, p. 22).

The current study aimed to understand Asian-Indian immigrant couples’ factors influencing fathers’ involvement with school-aged children (6-10 years). Specifically, the study focused on the marital adjustment, parenting self-efficacy and gender-role beliefs about parenting. Parenting is believed to be codependent and nested within a family and cultural structure. While parenting research consistently demonstrates more maternal involvement with children, often fathers’ involvement gets little or no attention. One of the major limitations of fathering research is single source data, often comprising of only mothers’ reports. The purpose of this study was to address this research gap by examining the nested nature of human development using family systems theory.

Actor-partner interdependence model (APIM), a type of dyadic data analysis, was used to examine the actor (spillover) and partner (crossover) effects of parents’ independent variables on their as well as their partners’ reports of paternal involvement. Self-report surveys were collected from 127 Asian-Indian immigrant parents. All the measurement scales had high reliabilities. Results for fathers revealed significant spillover effects of marital adjustment, parenting self-efficacy, and parenting gender role beliefs on fathers’ involvement, and for mothers, only marital adjustment effect on their reports of father involvement. These findings indicate that father involvement is enhanced when both fathers’ and mothers’ are adjusted in their marriage, when fathers’ feel competent in their parenting role and they have egalitarian gender beliefs about parenting. Partner or crossover effects were found from mothers’ marital adjustment onto fathers’ reports of involvement and, fathers’ parenting self-efficacy onto mothers’ reports of fathers’ involvement. These partner effects reveal that fathers’ involvement depend on how adjusted mothers are in their marriage and, mothers’ reports of fathers’ involvement depend on how efficient fathers are in their parenting role. In summary, the current study strongly supported family systems theory and demonstrated how the current immigrant parents, and the future families of America, adapt to succeed and re-structure lives in their ‘new home’.

Keywords

future families, father involvement, actor-partner interdependence model

Location

Tiger I

Start Date

9-3-2018 10:15 AM

End Date

9-3-2018 11:30 AM

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Mar 9th, 10:15 AM Mar 9th, 11:30 AM

Children of Immigrants: Parenting the Future of America

Tiger I

According to Cohn (2015), by the year 2065 about one-in-three Americans would be an immigrant or have immigrant parents projecting that incoming immigrants, and their children will steer majority of the United States (U.S.) population growth in the next 50 years. According to the projections for 2065, 78 million will be immigrants and 81 million will be individuals born in the U.S. to immigrant parents (see Figure 1). After immigrants from Mexico and China, the third largest immigrant group residing in the U.S. is from Asian-Indian origin. The percentage of Asian-Indian immigrants compared to all other immigrants in the U.S. has consistently proliferated. Considering this pattern of incoming Asian-Indian immigrants, research on parental involvement among Asian-Indians raising children who are U.S. citizens and future Americans is sparse. According to a national level study on paternal involvement with young children, “virtually no research has examined fatherhood among immigrants. Eighteen percent of current births are to mothers born outside of the U.S.; if the fathers also are foreign-born, this is a major gap in existing knowledge” (U.S. Department of Education, 2001, p. 22).

The current study aimed to understand Asian-Indian immigrant couples’ factors influencing fathers’ involvement with school-aged children (6-10 years). Specifically, the study focused on the marital adjustment, parenting self-efficacy and gender-role beliefs about parenting. Parenting is believed to be codependent and nested within a family and cultural structure. While parenting research consistently demonstrates more maternal involvement with children, often fathers’ involvement gets little or no attention. One of the major limitations of fathering research is single source data, often comprising of only mothers’ reports. The purpose of this study was to address this research gap by examining the nested nature of human development using family systems theory.

Actor-partner interdependence model (APIM), a type of dyadic data analysis, was used to examine the actor (spillover) and partner (crossover) effects of parents’ independent variables on their as well as their partners’ reports of paternal involvement. Self-report surveys were collected from 127 Asian-Indian immigrant parents. All the measurement scales had high reliabilities. Results for fathers revealed significant spillover effects of marital adjustment, parenting self-efficacy, and parenting gender role beliefs on fathers’ involvement, and for mothers, only marital adjustment effect on their reports of father involvement. These findings indicate that father involvement is enhanced when both fathers’ and mothers’ are adjusted in their marriage, when fathers’ feel competent in their parenting role and they have egalitarian gender beliefs about parenting. Partner or crossover effects were found from mothers’ marital adjustment onto fathers’ reports of involvement and, fathers’ parenting self-efficacy onto mothers’ reports of fathers’ involvement. These partner effects reveal that fathers’ involvement depend on how adjusted mothers are in their marriage and, mothers’ reports of fathers’ involvement depend on how efficient fathers are in their parenting role. In summary, the current study strongly supported family systems theory and demonstrated how the current immigrant parents, and the future families of America, adapt to succeed and re-structure lives in their ‘new home’.