Date of Award

January 2015

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Megan V. Smith

Second Advisor

Jianghong Li



Exposure to high academic achievement pressure and parent-child conflict is associated with poor psychological adjustments among Asian American Youth. Analyzing qualitative interview data of COEAA project, this study explored how parenting is related to youth’s internalizing the high achievement motivation and impact youth perceived stress and stress coping strategy among families of East Asian origin.

Participants consisted of 15 youth aged 15-24 who were born in US or have been living in US since 4th grade and 7 parents who identified themselves as first generation immigrants from East Asian counties and had children aged 14-24;

Results: Findings revealed that 1) parents instilled utility value of high academic achievement and youth acceptance parents sharing ownership of their study and perceived need to paying back to parents help children to internalize high academic achievement motivation. 2) Parental “setting career path for children” “sheltering children from making mistakes” “when parents say no, the communication is closed” are identified themes about parenting behaviors supporting/suppressing youth autonomy; “Hesitate to give positive feedback” and “lack of clear and consistent rules” are identified themes about parenting behaviors supporting/suppressing youth competence; 3) cross case analysis revealed that youth whose perspectives suppressed by parenting behaviors in communication reported more source of stress, didn’t perceived support from parents and reported using predominantly passive coping strategy compared to youth whose parents taking their perspectives in communication. Parents’ stress coping style also impact youth’ support seeking behaviors. Implications for interventions that help Asian American youth to develop resilience to stress are discussed.

Keywords: Asian American youth. Psychological adjustments. Autonomy. Competence. Parenting. Stress. Stress- Coping.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access