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Decision style of young women in Hong Kong astronaut and immigrant families Tanaka, Kimi Izumi

Abstract

While Hong Kong immigrant families consist of both parents living with children, Hong Kong astronaut families consist of one or both parents living in Hong Kong, with the eldest child participating in decision making and care of siblings in the country of immigration. The purpose of this study was to see if decision style (role, influence, and sources of assistance) is affected by type of decision (personal and family), family type (astronaut and immigrant), and ethnic identity (Canadian, Hong Kong Chinese, and Mixed identity). Decision style was coded into one of five pre-established categories (Unilateral-Dependent, Shared-Protective, Autonomous-Protective, Autonomous-Independent, and Mixed) adapted from Carlson and Grossbart's (1988) parental style model. Underlying themes unique to all participants and astronauts were also identified. Ten young women (4 astronauts and 6 immigrants) chose to participate in this study. Descriptive information was obtained via a screening document, and semi-structured interviews were transcribed and audio taped. A second reader was trained to ensure that the decision styles of the young women were appropriately coded. Cohen's kappa was calculated at 0.95. The independent variable that had the strongest pattern with decision style was type of decision, followed by family type. Ethnic identity did not have a pattern with decision style. Type of decision revealed that the participants had more independence in their personal decisions than their family decisions, with the exception of "Responsibilities Over Siblings" decisions. Family type revealed that astronaut parents were more likely to have shared the role and influence with their eldest daughters, while immigrant young women were more likely to have decided "Responsibilities Over Siblings" decisions on their own. Key underlying themes across all participants included: satisfaction with personal and family decisions, and quicker adaptation to Canada and the English language, which lead to their increased participation in personal and family decisions post-migration. Key underlying astronaut themes were related to parental absence (increased young astronauts' participation in minor family decisions) and presence (reduced young astronauts' participation in family decisions), and the expectation by family members for young astronauts to provide female household tasks.

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