Cultural Adaptation, Parenting and Child Mental Health Among English Speaking Asian American Immigrant Families

Keng Yen Huang, Esther Calzada, Sabrina Cheng, R. Gabriela Barajas-Gonzalez, Laurie Miller Brotman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Contrary to the “model minority” myth, Asian American children, especially those from low-income immigrant families, are at risk for both behavioral and emotional problems early in life. Little is known, however, about the underlying developmental mechanisms placing Asian American children at risk, including the role of cultural adaptation and parenting. This study examined cultural adaptation, parenting practices and culture related parenting values and child mental health in a sample of 157 English speaking Asian American immigrant families of children enrolled in early childhood education programs in low-income, urban neighborhoods. Overall, cultural adaptation and parenting cultural values and behaviors were related to aspects of child mental health in meaningful ways. Parents’ cultural value of independence appears to be especially salient (e.g., negatively related to behavior problems and positively related to adaptive behavior) and significantly mediates the link between cultural adaptation and adaptive behavior. Study findings have implications for supporting Asian American immigrant families to promote their young children’s mental health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)572-583
Number of pages12
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017


  • Asian Americans
  • Cultural adaptation
  • Cultural socialization
  • Parenting
  • Parenting Values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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