A new study goes beyond Amy Chua’s Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother to examine the differences between Asian American and European American parenting (photo by Emran Kassim).
The study by Stanford researchers Alyssa Fu and Hazel Markus explores how those differences impact the mother daughter relationship and the mother’s ability to motivate her child.
Asian American children are encouraged to be dependent on their mother and mother’s are more directly involved in their children’s education, according to Fu.
On the other hand, independence is emphasized more in European American culture. Children are encouraged to see themselves as separate from their moms and because of that researchers say their moms are less easily able to motivate their children academically.
The authors also found Asian American children feel more pressure from their moms but that pressure didn’t decrease the support they felt their mothers gave them.
It was just the opposite for European American children. The more pressure they felt from their mom, the less support they felt. Any pressures is perceived as negative by these children and are more likely to assert their independence.
When thinking about their moms, Asian American children are more likely to want to complete a task even after failure. European Americans are more motivated when thinking about themselves.
The study is published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, the official journal of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP)
What is your experience with this? Would the results had been difference if they disaggregated data from the different Asian American subgroups? Share your thoughts. We’d love to hear them.