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Projects :: Cross Cultural Research

Parent/Teen Relationship a Question of Cultural Difference in Middle Eastern Families

photoAs a follow up to the "Prevention of Domestic Violence Educational Roundtable" we met to review a possible cross cultural research study on Middle Eastern families living in the US. The proposed research intends to focus on the ways Middle Eastern families learn to cope with the new culture, language, and environment. It also aims to examine how the pressures of the new environment affect spousal relationships, parent/child relationships, parent/teens relationships, and siblings relationships.

At the meeting, one of our young university students summarized her wonderful yet eye opening report on the problems and difficulties that immigrant families face as they adjust to a new culture. The report focused mainly on teens' relationships with their immigrant parents. Youths of the immigrant parents and families also have to face cultural differences inside and outside their homes. The question remains: how can a young person, a seventeen year old girl, for example, handle all these pressures at home? While she also has to face her own issues of growing up, re-examining life, and the peer pressure that every teenager is facing; how can a mother of such teen age girls, open herself to new ideas (many times contradictory to her own).

photoWe realize that immigrant parents also face difficulties in a new culture. They have to adjust to new ideas, opinions, and politics, and develop new tastes, social behavior, education, etc., This transformation is not as easy as it may sound. Such adjustments often contradict with their life-long learning and ideology and create conflicts of ideas and emotions.

The survey teaches us that problem and conflict is not only due to age and ideology, but also to culture based differences.

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