Differences in the involvement of European American parents and Korean immigrant parents in young children’s extracurricular activities
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This study investigated views, beliefs, and values about extracurricular activities of two sets of parents, Korean immigrant parents and American U.S. born parents, both groups of middle or higher class socioeconomic status with above college degrees. By examining how parents perceive their own involvement in their children’s extracurricular activities and how differently parents of recent immigration from Korea or of established European American descent become involved with their children’s activities, parents’ motivation and their role emerged using self-determination theory as a basis to explain the internalization underlying self-determined motivation. Participants in this study were 31 parents (approximately10 each from 3 activity groups) associated with three extracurricular activities for young children. This study used a mixed-methods approach. First, the degree of to which parents perceived their involvement based on parental support or pressure, the two factors from Anderson et al. (2003), were surveyed. Second, semi-structured face-to-face interviews were used to elicit in-depth information from three parents for each activity, selecting them based on their responses to the survey. The findings suggested that parents expect their children to find their own interest, build competence, and ultimately acquire autonomy by engaging in extracurricular activities. In terms of cultural differences, the results revealed that though there are cultural differences in their involvement, these parents were aware of possible gaps and strove to close these gaps to help their children.