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01-11-2013 | Original Paper | Uitgave 8/2013

Journal of Child and Family Studies 8/2013

At the Interface of Ethnicity and Recent Immigration: Family Functioning of Chinese with School-Age Children in Canada

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 8/2013
Lily L. Dyson, Jimmy Qi, Mancia Wang


This study examined the family functioning of recent Chinese immigrants living in Canada in terms of its status and those socio-ecological factors that influence it. Recent immigration has resulted in an increasingly large number of residents in Canada and the US who represent both an immigrant and an ethnic minority status. Among such residents are Chinese immigrants. Because of the potentially large number of school-age children who are part of these families, the family functioning of the new Chinese immigrants with school-age children would be important for the children’s development. This study therefore compared 112 Chinese families who recently immigrated to Canada with 90 Caucasian non-immigrant families. Scales were administered to the families to measure various aspects of family functioning. The results showed that the Chinese immigrants experienced a lower degree of family cohesion. Their socio-ecological factors were both similar and different from the non-immigrants, with a lower degree of social support and certain differences in child-rearing practices than the non-immigrants. Social support and child-rearing practices were differentially related to different dimensions of family functioning. However, these relationships were not entirely unique to the immigrants. The results have increased our understanding of immigrants and may contribute to the provision of effective support for immigrants. Implications are suggested for community support for immigrants and for further research.

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