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MLSAAF in the SSA Magazine

MLSAAF was recently featured in the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration's magazine! Our study's Principal Investigator, Professor Choi, debunks the stereotype of painting Asian Americans with one brush. Learn more about the impact that MLSAAF is making: click HERE to download the pdf version of the excerpt, and HERE for the online version of the SSA article.

Our Newest MLSAAF Research Paper 

"Culture and Family Process: Measures of Familism for Filipino and Korean American Parents"



ck here to download the full version of the paper!
Familism is a social structure that places an emphasis on the collective needs of the family. It encourages a deep sense of familial obligation and orientation, and is one of the most distinctive characteristics of Asian culture. It may even play a crucial role in the growth and development of Asian American youth. For example, familism might serve as a protective factor for developing youth, so a nuanced understanding of it is critical.
However, studying familism is complicated. There are over 20 Asian American subgroups with distinct cultural characteristics, and conventional measures often treat these subgroups as one group. MLSAAF aims to analyze existing measures of familism and help develop new ones by studying Filipino and Korean American families. Our research focused on eight aspects of Asian American familism: 1) Traditional Manners and Etiquettes; 2) Respect for Adults; 3) Caring for Aging Parents; 4) Centrality of Family: Values; 5) Centrality of Family: Behaviors; 6) Harmony and Sacrifice; 7) Family Obligation Expectation; and 8) Family Obligation on Daughters.
Filipino American parents reported higher adherence to all but one of these domains of familism. Although Korean American parents also strongly endorsed traditional values, Filipino Americans are perhaps more traditional with respect to familism than their Korean American counterparts. Korean American parents may be loosening some traditional family values to accommodate sociocultural changes for their children, while Filipino American parents show some more desire to pass on culturally traditional expectations.
Traditional values of familism seem to remain strong in both Korean and Filipino American parents. However, Filipino American parents may express some stronger endorsement of traditional family interactions while still being well-assimilated in many aspects, such as in language. They give particular importance to supporting and sacrificing for the family and expect the same from their children. Their scope of the term "family" may be more extensive, covering distant relatives; Korean Americans tend to focus inward on the nuclear family.
The most recent set of MLSAAF findings are out! One key finding is that Filipino American families tend to express more traditional aspects of familism than Korean American families do. Further, they're more likely to reinforce these traditional familism behaviors on their children. Curious about what familism is, and what else has been revealed about Asian American values, beliefs, and family dynamics? Read on!
Professor Choi's New Book!
MLSAAF's Principal Investigator, Professor Choi, is the co-editor of the book Asian American Parenting.
The newly edited work will be published in September of 2017! Check out this
Facebook page for more information. Here is an introduction from the publisher:

"This important text offers data-rich guidelines for conducting culturally relevant and clinically effective intervention with Asian American families. Delving beneath longstanding generalizations and assumptions that have often hampered intervention with this diverse and growing population, expert contributors analyze the intricate dynamics of generational conflict and child development in Chinese, Korean, Filipino, and other Asian American households. Wide-angle coverage identifies critical factors shaping Asian American family process, from parenting styles, behaviors, and values to adjustment and autonomy issues across childhood and adolescence, including problems specific to girls and young women. Contributors also make extensive use of quantitative and qualitative findings in addressing the myriad paradoxes surrounding Asian identity, acculturation, and socialization in contemporary America."

The book explores the cultural intricacies of Asian American parenting, brushing aside the stereotypical image of the 'Tiger Mom.' One chapter specifically focuses on MLSAAF and the data obtained from the ongoing study. This book addresses topics such as the rising challenges and opportunities of uncertain times for Asian American families, socioeconomic status and child/youth outcomes in Asian American families, and daily associations between adolescents’ race-related experiences and family processes.
Want to know more about Professor Choi and her work in youth development from a cultural perspective?
See her bio
here and learn about her many publications here
Bicultural Identity and Parent-Child Relationships

What constitutes healthy relationships between parents and youth? Many studies have attempted to answer this multifaceted question, but few specifically focus on Asian American families. This means that crucial questions revolving around cultural contexts are often missed. For instance, what does it look like for parents and children to navigate two cultures? What role does bicultural identity play in adolescent development?
The MLSAAF project was started in 2013 to answer such questions.  MLSAAF follows over 800 Filipino American and Korean American families over the course of four years with the aim of understanding how parents can best support youth as they navigate issues of acculturation, assimilation, and adaptation. Directed out of the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration, MLSAAF is the only research project of its kind and is funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).


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