Spillover of stress to Chinese Canadian immigrants’ parenting: Impact of acculturation and parent–child stressors.

A growing body of research has demonstrated that the experience of stress may spill over to impact the way in which fathers and mothers approach the parenting role, such as expressions of warmth, discipline, reasoning, and control (Leinonen, Solantaus, & Punamäki, 2003). In the present study, these spillover effects were examined in a sample of 182 Chinese immigrant families in Canada with adolescent children. Using a two-wave longitudinal design and structural equation modeling, we evaluated the hypotheses that both acculturation-related stress in the parents’ lives and high parent–child relational stress within the family would predict a decrease in positive parenting over time. As expected, parents who reported higher levels of acculturation stress showed a decrease in positive parenting, suggesting that external acculturation stressors may deplete immigrant parents’ emotional resources, making it more difficult to sustain positive parenting approaches. Interestingly, stress from within the parent–child relationship did not have the same effect. Parents who reported more intense conflicts with their adolescents showed an increase in positive parenting. Invariance analyses revealed similarity between fathers and mothers in terms of the impact of stress on parenting. The significant effects of both cultural and relationship stressors on parenting call for stronger clinical and settlement support for immigrant parents’ adjustment, as well as more family-oriented immigration policies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)