Parent-child acculturation discrepancy, parental knowledge, peer deviance, and adolescent delinquency in Chinese immigrant families
Using a longitudinal sample of Chinese immigrant families, the current study examined parent-child acculturation discrepancy as an ongoing risk factor for delinquency, through the mediating pathway of parental knowledge of the child’s daily experiences relating to child’s contact with deviant peers. Based on the absolute difference in acculturation levels (tested separately for Chinese and American orientations) between adolescents and parents, one parent in each family was assigned to the “more discrepant” group of parent-child dyads, and the other parent was assigned to the “less discrepant” group of parent-child dyads. To explore possible within-family variations, the mediating pathways were tested separately among the more and less discrepant groups. Within each group, the mediating pathway was further compared between father- and mother-adolescent dyads from different families. Structural equation modeling showed that the proposed mediating pathways were significant only in the more discrepant parent-adolescent dyads. For more discrepant dyads, especially those discrepant in American orientation, a high level of parent-child acculturation discrepancy is related to less parental knowledge, which is related to adolescents having more contact with deviant peers, which in turn leads to more adolescent delinquency. This mediating pathway is significant concurrently, within early and middle adolescence, and longitudinally, from early to middle adolescence. Among the more discrepant dyads, the relationship between parent-child acculturation discrepancy and parental knowledge was stronger for father-adolescent dyads than it was for mother-adolescent dyads.