A MULTI-METHOD EXPLORATION OF KOREAN IMMIGRANT PARENTING AND CHILDREN?S SOCIO-EMOTIONAL AND BEHAVIORAL OUTCOMES IN THE U.S.
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This dissertation project aimed to clarify pathways toward young Korean immigrant children?s socioemotional and behavioral adjustment by exploring associations among predictors of parenting, parenting behaviors and practices, and child adjustment outcomes using a multi-method approach across three separate empirical papers. The first paper with 158 Korean immigrant mothers examined the contributions of social support and found that greater perceived instrumental support (but not emotional support) received from kin predicted better maternal psychological well-being 6 months later, which in turn predicted less reported authoritarian parenting style 6 months later. The second paper examined associations among 120 Korean immigrant mothers? observed use of praise and encouragement, their acculturation, their children?s socioemotional and behavioral difficulties and the moderating role of child gender and age. Mothers used process praise most frequently. Higher levels of American acculturation were associated with more use of person and other praise. Higher levels of maintenance of their heritage Korean culture were associated with mothers? greater use of person praise among younger children, but less use of person praise among older children. Mothers with higher levels of American acculturation with older children only used more encouragement. Maternal encouragement was associated with fewer child difficulties. The third paper examined the transactional associations among maternal warmth, child temperamental inhibitory control, child externalizing behaviors, and maternal American acculturation in Korean immigrant families with young children across three time points, each 6-months apart. Korean immigrant mothers and their preschool-aged children in the U.S. participated (n = 199 at Wave 1, n = 138 at Wave 2, and n = 105 at Wave 3). Moderate to strong stabilities within each construct across time and within-time covariations among the constructs were revealed. Transactional relations between parent and child were not found. However, Wave 2 maternal warmth predicted increases in Wave 3 child temperamental inhibitory control. Wave 1 maternal American acculturation significantly influenced their level of Wave 2 maternal warmth. Overall, this dissertation project extended our current understanding of contributors to, and outcomes associated with, Korean immigrant parenting and informed the development of culturally sensitive parenting programs to facilitate Korean immigrant children?s positive adjustment in the U.S.