Title

Acculturation stress, social support and maternal satisfaction within immigrant Chinese families

Date of Completion

January 2003

Keywords

Psychology, Social|Psychology, Developmental|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies|Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

In spite of the fact that many researchers have focused on the influences of acculturation on the psychological adjustment, mental health and parenting style of immigrants, few have paid attention to the relationship between acculturation stress and maternal satisfaction within immigrant Chinese families in the United States. This study's main purpose was to investigate the role of acculturation stress and social support in predicting maternal satisfaction within immigrant Chinese families in the United States. Conceptually, a developmental contextual perspective was employed to develop a theoretical model to explain how acculturation stress and social support influence maternal satisfaction of immigrant Chinese mothers. ^ The sample consisted of 138 Chinese mothers who were living in the vicinity of Pennsylvania State University, University of Connecticut, and Philadelphia areas. Maternal satisfaction is used as the dependent variable. Variables used to predict maternal satisfaction are: the ages of children, and number of years residing within the U.S., and the levels of acculturation stress experienced as assessed by the 5 subscales of the revised Hispanic Stress Inventory (Cil Choi, 1997). Social support is examined as a possible moderator of the relationship between these predictor variables and parent satisfaction. ^ The results indicate that the significant predictors of maternal satisfaction are the mother's perceived social support, the ages of the children, and the levels of acculturation stress due to the immigration process and the levels of acculturation stress due to parenting and marital demands. Mothers who were most satisfied with being a parent tend to report, as expected, more social support and less acculturation stress. Mothers with younger children were found to experience higher levels of parent satisfaction as well. ^