Methods: The Study of Asian American Families (SAAF) were used in this study, which used both convenience and snowball sampling methods to recruit diverse ethnic subgroups of Asian American parents at social services agencies, churches, public libraries, and community centers in Hawaii (2015-2017), New Jersey (2012-2014), New York (2011-2012). Parents’ Sense of Social Belonging was measured by Hong’s (2011) Korean Acculturation Scale. Parent-child acculturation conflict was measured by a 10-item scale developed from the Family Acculturation Conflicts Scale. The Short Form of Parent Stress Index was used to measure parental stress. SPSS 25.0 was used to conduct the descriptive and mediation analysis.
Results: Descriptive statistics of Chinese immigrant families (N=278) showed that most respondents (93.1%) were married to the focal child’s father or mother. A similar number of focal children were boys (50.7%) and girls (48.3%). The age distribution of children ranged widely from 0 (infants) to 18, and the average age of children was about 9 years old (M = 8.9, SD = 5.1). The mediation model showed that parents’ sense of social belonging was significantly related to parent–child acculturation conflict (b = -0.607, SE = 0.222, p = .007), which was further associated to increased parental distress (b = 0.250, SE = 0.066, p < .001).
Conclusion: The results confirmed our hypotheses that Chinese immigrant parents with stronger belonging to the United States tended to have less parent–child acculturation conflict and in turn, less parental distress. These findings add to the existing knowledge about parents’ social belonging and parental distress by examining the mediating effects of acculturation conflict at the family level. With the current COVID-19 public health crisis, Chinese immigrants around the world are exposed to increasing stigmatization, stressors, and microaggressions related to their ethnic identity. Meanwhile, in some parts of the United States, parent–child acculturation conflict tends to densify since many schools are closed and parents and children are sheltering in place together for weeks. Therefore, this study is expected to make real-world contributions and highlight the role of cultural competence in social workers’ practice with Chinese immigrant families amid and after the COVID-19 pandemic.