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Factors influencing intergenerational conflict for immigrant and non-immigrant adolescents McLaren, Norma-Jean


This study examined the factors related to intergenerational conflict as perceived by immigrant and non-immigrant adolescents. The study replicated the work of Doreen Rosenthal (1989) using a modified version of the questionaire she administered to adolescents in Melbourne, Australia. This study was administered to 300 grade eleven students in two Vancouver high schools. The data was analysed to determine the effect of the following factors on intergenerational conflict: immigrant status, bicultural adaptation, gender, ethnicity, age at time of immigration, presence or absence of a common complex language with parents. Analysis revealed that students in general reported a moderate amount of conflict with their parents. Intergenerational conflict was not affected by whether or not the adolescent was an immigrant to Canada. Female adolescents reported higher conflict with their fathers, but no gender differences were noted with mothers. Of the three largest ethnic groups in the study, Indo-Canadians reported significantly more conflict with mothers than did either Euro-Canadians or Chinese-Canadians and a greater amount of conflict with fathers than did Chinese-Canadians. Chinese-Canadians reported less conflict with either parent than did either Indo-Canadians or Euro-Canadians. Bicultural students did not report significantly less conflict than traditional, assimilated or marginal adolescents. Age at the time of immigration did not affect the amount of intergenerational conflict. And finally, adolescents who speak a common language with their parents in the home perceived less conflict with mothers. While few recommendations could be made as a result of the findings, a framework for the analysis of integration patterns was developed, a comprehensive review of the literature conducted and questions for future research on intergenerational conflict were raised.

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