The Immigrant Family: Parent-Child Dilemmas and Therapy Considerations
Dr. J. Roland Fleck, Dorothy T. Fleck

Parenting is a difficult challenge for anyone. Immigrant parents find their roles and relationships with their children change, and these children are vulnerable to a number of risk factors especially during adolescence that diminish the influence of the parents in the acculturation process. The risk factors include: Language issues including a linguistic separation between parents and children which becomes symbolic of a profound emotional separation; economic stressors in which the main reason for which many families emigrate, i.e., economic betterment, becomes the source of greatest stress; differing parenting practices including the challenge of raising their children in a new seemingly unsupportive and permissive culture; and identity development where the adolescent identity process can be stressed by the difficulties inherent in negotiating two cultures and the perception of not fitting well into the new mainstream culture. A number of suggestions for culturally-sensitive assessment and intervention are provided as well as suggestions for becoming a culturally-sensitive person and therapist.

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