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Autonomy in Asian-American Adolescents: Its Development, Relation to Parent-Child Closeness, and Associations With Adjustment

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title
Autonomy in Asian-American Adolescents: Its Development, Relation to Parent-Child Closeness, and Associations With Adjustment
author
Bhattacharjee, Kalpa
abstract
Achieving autonomy, or self-governance, has long been considered an important developmental task for adolescents. The developmental task of gaining autonomy often runs in parallel with changes in adolescents' relationships with their parents. For example, for some adolescents, relationships with parents grow closer, while for others, they are fraught with increasing conflict, misunderstanding, and hostility. Still for others, there may be a complex middle ground; nevertheless, prior work has shown the ongoing importance of the parent-child relationship during adolescence. In addition, variations in the relationship between close parent-child relationships and autonomy development exist across different ethnicities and cultures, due to differences in values and socialization. In particular, broadly speaking, the Asian-American pan-ethnic group is an interesting diaspora to study because of the amalgam of a history of collectivistic values with the exposure to the American values of individualism and attaining autonomy. The current study investigates the normative change in autonomy during the high school years and whether there are links between parent-child cohesion and autonomy over time. Using Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) and data from approximately 160 Asian American high schoolers, I found that autonomy remained fairly stable through the high school years, and that an increase in father-child cohesion was associated with an increase in autonomy over time. In addition, using multiple regression models at each grade level, I found that autonomy and parent-child cohesion were both positively associated with self-esteem at each high school grade level, with autonomy having a particularly strong association with self-esteem during the last two years of high school. Only parent-child cohesion, and not autonomy, had significant associations with depressive symptoms (negative association) and academic motivation (positive association). In addition, autonomy moderated the effect of parent-child cohesion on depression during 9th and 12th grades. The implications regarding the developmental trajectory of autonomy, potential relationships between autonomy and parent-child cohesion, and the role of both on adjustment are discussed.
subject
adolescence
Asian-Americans
autonomy
linear mixed models
parent-child relations
psychology
contributor
Kiang, Lisa (committee chair)
Best, Deborah L (committee member)
Stone, Eric R (committee member)
Folmar, Steven J (committee member)
date
2014-01-15T09:35:35Z (accessioned)
2013 (issued)
degree
Psychology (discipline)
embargo
forever (terms)
10000-01-01 (liftdate)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/39135 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
type
Thesis

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