Friday, 14 January 2005 - 12:00 PM
This presentation is part of: Poster Session I
An Empirical Test of the Multicultural/Multimodal/Multisystems (MULTI-CMS) Approach for Korean Immigrant FamiliesSung Seek Moon, PhD, University of Texas at Arlington and Kevin DeWeaver, PhD, University of Georgia.
In the immigrant families, the parent-adolescence conflict is one of the most serious issues. Conflicts within immigrant families cannot completely be explained by the generation gap or the intergenerational conflict hypothesis that is often used to understand parent-child conflicts within the Western culture. The culture of Korean immigrant families and that of the United States share little in the way of history, social culture, language, economic structure, and religion; nor do they share an ethical-moral system. For instance, Korean culture is strongly based on Confucianism, which emphasizes filial piety, family ties, and the patriarchal family order; however, American culture is based more on individualism. Therefore, it is imperative to explain family conflict within immigrant families with an acculturation gap or the different rates of acculturation along with demographic variables and mediating variables such as family value systems and their social support systems between immigrant parents and their U.S.-raised children. Many researchers have examined the nature of family conflict in mainstream. However, few empirical studies on family conflict in immigrant populations have been done. In addition, there are no attempts yet to develop and test a reliable, theoretically consistent model that would be useful for social work practice for immigrant families.
The hypothesized structural equation model for this study suggested that adolescents' acculturation correlates with family systems and family social support systems, which in turn mediate the family conflict. It was also hypothesized that three demographic variables (gender, religion, and SES) affect each latent variable (acculturation, family system, social support system, and family conflict).
The model was tested with 304 Korean American adolescents aged 14-18 years. Structural equation modeling was used for the major analysis. The following instruments were used in this study: (1) Suinn-Lew Self-Identity Acculturation Scale (SL-ASLA); (2) Horizontal and Vertical Individualism-Collectivism (HVIC); (3) Social Support Index (SSI); and (4) Asian American Family Conflicts Scale (AAFC).
The social support system variable was the best predictor of immigrant family conflict (b = -0.31, t = -3.86, p < .05). In addition, the results of this study concluded that acculturation on family conflict through social support systems was a significant path (b = -1.27, t = -3.42, p < .05). This means that social support systems may be said to function as a mediator to the extent that it accounts for the relation between acculturation and family conflict. The results of the MIMIC model indicate that gender had a statistically significant relationship with family conflict (b = 0.14, t = 2.08, p < .05). This means that there was a significant gender difference on the family conflict variable. The preliminary analysis supported that Korean American adolescent females had higher family conflict than Korean American adolescent males did. In addition, SES had a statistically significant association with acculturation (b = 0.15, t = 2.08, p < .05).
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