Acculturation, parent-child relationships, and mental health of adolescents in Chinese and Mexican immigrant families

Su Yeong Kim, Minyu Zhang, Yang Hou, Yishan Shen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Acculturation influences parenting behaviors, the ways cultural values are expressed, the adaptations parents make in response to their host culture environments, and the ways in which they transmit their heritage culture while socializing their children to function in the host culture. Varying levels of acculturation among family members in immigrant families can result in an acculturation gap between parents and children that influences children’s mental health outcomes in both positive and negative ways. Linguistic acculturation differences between immigrant parents and children can also result in adolescents functioning as translators (language brokers) for their English-limited parents, with subjective appraisals of the language-brokering experience providing more consistent evidence for its effects on adolescent outcomes. We present evidence for the conditions under which parenting behaviors, acculturation gap, and language brokering may represent sources of risk or protection for adolescent mental health in Latinx and Asian immigrant families by using examples from research on Chinese and Mexican immigrant families.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMental and Behavioral Health of Immigrants in the United States
Subtitle of host publicationCultural, Environmental, and Structural Factors
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780128161173
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Acculturation gap
  • Adolescents
  • Chinese American
  • Families
  • Immigrants
  • Language brokering
  • Mexican American
  • Parenting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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