The other side of the model minority story: The familial and peer challenges faced by Chinese American adolescents

Desire Boalian Qin, Niobe Way, Preetika Mukherjee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The image of the model minority dominates scholarly and public discourse on Asian American children and adolescents. However, recent research has shown that despite their high levels of educational achievement Asian American students report poor psychological and social adjustment. Using an ecological framework, this article sought to explore the family and peer experiences of Chinese American adolescents as these are the two most critical contexts influencing adolescents' psychological and social adjustment. Drawing on longitudinal data collected from two studies conducted in Boston and New York on 120 first- and second-generation Chinese American students, our analyses suggested that many Chinese American adolescents feel alienated from their parents and peers. The alienation from parents was due to factors such as language barriers, parenting work schedules, and high parental educational expectations. Alienation from peers was due to ongoing peer discrimination from both Chinese and non-Chinese peers. Implications and future research are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)480-506
Number of pages27
JournalYouth and Society
Volume39
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2008

Keywords

  • Chinese American adolescent development
  • Family relations
  • Peer relations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)

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