Intergenerational Cultural Dissonance, Parent-Child Conflict and Bonding, and Youth Problem Behaviors among Vietnamese and Cambodian Immigrant Families

J Youth Adolesc. 2008;37(1):85-96. doi: 10.1007/s10964-007-9217-z.


Intergenerational cultural dissonance (ICD)-a clash between parents and children over cultural values-is a frequent issue for Asian American youth. Using longitudinal data from the Cross Cultural Families Project, this study examines the mechanisms by which ICD contributes to problem behaviors, including whether ICD predicts parent-child conflict, whether parent-child conflict then has a direct effect on youth problem behavior, and whether positive bonding with parents mediates the effects of such conflict on youth problem behaviors among Vietnamese (n = 164) and Cambodian (n = 163) families with adolescents [average age = 15.2 years (SD = 1.05)]. The results from the path analyses show that, in both groups, ICD indirectly predicts problem behaviors by increasing parent-child conflict, which in turn weakens positive parent-child bonding. Interventions that target youths' perception of intergenerational cultural gaps, help them manage conflict, and help strengthen bonds with parents may prevent problem behaviors among Cambodian and Vietnamese families. This study contributes to inform how to effectively prevent problems and difficulties among these families.