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Asian Am J Psychol. 2013 Mar 1;4(1):19-29.

Is Asian American Parenting Controlling and Harsh? Empirical Testing of Relationships between Korean American and Western Parenting Measures.

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School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL.


Asian American parenting is often portrayed as highly controlling and even harsh. This study empirically tested the associations between a set of recently developed Korean ga-jung-kyo-yuk measures and several commonly used Western parenting measures to accurately describe Asian American family processes, specifically those of Korean Americans. The results show a much nuanced and detailed picture of Korean American parenting as a blend of Western authoritative and authoritarian styles with positive and-although very limited-negative parenting. Certain aspects of ga-jung-kyo-yuk are positively associated with authoritative style or authoritarian style, or even with both of them simultaneously. They were positively associated with positive parenting (warmth, acceptance, and communication) but not with harsh parenting (rejection and negative discipline). Exceptions to this general pattern were Korean traditional disciplinary practices and the later age of separate sleeping of children. The study discusses implications of these findings and provides suggestions for future research.


Korean American parenting; Western parenting; family processes

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