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Difference in the Concept and Role of Family across Different Ethnic Groups
Jersey College School of Nursing
The United States of America is a melting pot. It is very diverse with people of different races, religions and ethnic background. These ethnic groups consist of Whites, Asian, Native American, African American and Hispanics. This research paper will examine the concept and role of the family across different ethnic groups, focusing on some of the different parenting styles. There are four styles of parenting the authoritative, authoritarian, permissive-indulgent and permissive- uninvolved parenting. This paper will show some of the similarities and differences in family dynamics and parenting.
The definition of family is an intimate group who have committed relationship, care for one another and any children, and share close emotional ties and functions (Benokraitis, 2016, p. 222). The family dynamic is viewed differently across different ethnic groups. Among Western societies a typical family is the nuclear family one composed of married parents and their children (Benokraitis, 2016, p.224). In contrast most Hispanics, Asian, Native American and African American ethnic groups value the extended family. The extended family is composed of parents, children and other kin. (Benokraitis, 2016, p.225) There are multiple concepts and roles of rearing families across different ethnic groups. “Parental control" is related to such issues as enforcing rules. "Maturity demand" is the parental expectation that children perform up to their potential. "Clarity of communication" reflects the parents’ willingness to communicate with their children, solicit their opinions and use reasoning to obtain the desired behavior. "Nurturance" is related to parental expressions of warmth and approval, and protection of children’s physical and emotional well-being. Using these four dimensions, Diana Baumrind has developed a theory as the basic model of parenting which identifies four styles of parenting: authoritative, authoritarian, permissive-indulgent and permissive- uninvolved parenting. (Baumrind, 1971)
The authoritarian practice is demanding, respect to authority, setting rigid rules. This parenting style enable the parents to use physical punishment or verbal insults to elicit the desired behavior. The authoritative parenting style is less rigid than the authoritarian. It’s little less restrictive. The parents set clear expectations and have high standards. The children’s behavior is monitored closely, children are encouraged to make better decisions and learn from their mistakes. The white American parents are warm and nurturing, treating their children with kindness, respect and affection. With passive or permissive indulgent parenting style, the parents are overly warm, affectionate, set no limits, no consequences for behavior, and no set rules. The parents accept no responsibility for their children’s actions. Whereas with the passive non-involved parenting style, the parents could careless of their children actions or behaviors. There’s no structure in this family dynamic. The concept and roles in ethnic parenting varies depending on their culture or some refuse to instill the same parenting skills that they were brought up in.
Filial piety is a concept that governs Asian American families. It’s the idea that children are obligated to provide aid, comfort, affection and contact with the parent and to do well in their education and job, making the parent proud. Asian American families are more egalitarian, with the father being the figurative head, but the mother being the actual decision maker. They hold very high regards for their elders. The extended family is still important as a source of social support. Asian American parents stress moral development in their children and the development of one's potential. They do not encourage open expression of thoughts and feelings, and in fact encourage suppression of unpleasant thoughts (Witt, 2016.). They practice an authoritarian style of parenting as parents place a strong emphasis on obedience, reliability, proper behavior, social obligation, and group achievement. Adherence to authority reinforces the child’s place and security within the family. Children are expected to obey and respect authority, get along with others, and learn good moral character (Chang, 2007).
In the African-American family, the majority is more accurately depicted as extended family units rather than single adult nuclear family units. The father is usually the head of household, especially if there’s both parents in the home. African-American families are grounded, and extended family and communities' social support systems provide resources, both emotional and practical, to assist in coping with life problems. In regards to relationships with their children, parents tend to be more hierarchical. Parents are to be obeyed and respected. African American parents expect independence from their children at an earlier age than white parents, with daughters being expected to handle family responsibilities at an earlier age than daughters in white families (Witt, 2016.). Their parenting style is authoritarian in comparison to the parenting practices of their white counter parts. They are more likely to be strict, to hold demanding standards for behavior, and to use physical discipline more frequently in enforcing these standards.
Hispanic American families usually have a close bond with extended family. Older members are very respected and looked to for help and advice. Unlike African American families, who encourage independence and decision making at a fairly early age, Hispanic American families are more laissez-faire about these things waiting longer to give children responsibilities (Witt, 2016). When it comes to their parenting styles there are many conflicting reports. Many studies show that they used authoritative practices more frequently, but were also more likely to implement authoritarian strategies (Ayon, Williams, Marsiglia, Ayers, & Kiehne, 2015). For Native Americans, tribal identity is very important and is a factor in the self-concept of Native American children. Extended family networks among Native Americans are structurally open, and are composed of clans, which include several households of relatives. For Native Americans, the extended family is important but is viewed differently than the extended family networks of other minority groups. They practice a permissive style of parenting. Physical punishment and yelling at children is unusual in Native American families. Children are socialized into adulthood through membership in the clan and through the teachings of the extended family network (Witt, 2016.).
It’s evident that various ethnic backgrounds have different traditions, socioeconomically, and religion plays a fundamental role with caring for their families and raising their children. Some families are raised under strict rules, some are nurtured, others respect each other plays an important role in their family. While others are non-involved with their family. Based on our finding tradition plays a significant role on family involvement and raising their children. The African American families have a close bond, sometimes there are family conflicts and this happens in every family. But their belief is children should be respectful to their elders and bad behavior is shun upon. The Asians value their patriarch of the family as the head and is respected and their children are instilled at an early age to make their family proud in all aspects of their lives. In the Hispanic community the family bond is very strong, they’re very supportive of each other and care for their elders. They raise their children permissive and authoritative manor depending on the generation. The Native American tradition and tribal rules are important among each tribal family. The common denominator here is the family dynamic is important regardless of your ethnic background.
Ayon, C., Williams, L., Marsiglia, F., Ayers, S., & Kiehne, E. (2015). A Latent Profile Analysis of Latino Parenting: The Infusion of Cultural Values on Family Conflict. Retrieved October 9, 2016, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4782981/
Benokraitis, N. (2016). Families and aging. In Introduction to sociology (4th ed.). Cengage Learning.
Baumrind, D. 1971. “Current Patterns of Parental Authority. Developmental Psychology Monograph 4: 1–103. CrossRef | Web of Science®
Chang, M. (2007). Cultural differences in parenting styles and their effects on teens' self-esteem, perceived parental relationship satisfaction, and self-satisfaction. Retrieved September 8, 2016, from http://repository.cmu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1084&context=hsshonors
Witt, S. D. (n.d.). Parent Child Relations- Online Diversity. Retrieved October 8, 2016, from http://gozips.uakron.edu/~susan8/diversity.htm
The CONCEPT and ROLE ACROSS different ETHNIC GROUP8
Running head: The CONCEPT and ROLE ACROSS different ETHNIC GROUP1ldren at an earlier age than white parents, with daughters being expected to handle family responsibilities at an earlier age than daughters in white families (Witt, 2016.). Their parenting style is authoritarian in comparison to the parenting practices of their white counter parts. They are more likely to be strict, to hold demanding standards for behavior, and to use physical discipline more frequently in enforcing these standards.