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Acculturation Gaps

The parental control may affect the second generation children, especially the parental expectations towards their children.  Parents may expect their children to grow according to the traditional norms. However, due to the need for children to become urbanized and live according to the western lifestyles, conflicts may arise (Begum & Khondaker, 2008).  This kind of lifestyles may cause the confusion among the children and may trigger conflict between parents and their children. The studies that examine the effect of parenting style on different generations in the U.S have tried to provide further cultural arguments. This is done through examining the effects of parental control on their children.  The parental styles may have an effect on the Asian American children of the second generations, and the European American children who may not be affected by the parental styles (Tajima & Harachi, 2010).

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In addition, the effects can be demonstrated in two different styles. The first one is based on the group examinations, the association pattern control and the outcomes of the child for some Asian groups. This is because the outcomes may be somehow varied from those of the European Americans.  Some parental control may have more positive effects while others may have negative effects to the Asian American children that their counterparts. The second effect is based on the extent, to which Asian parents control their children. The study revealed that the Asian parents are more authoritative and they restrict their children compared to other parents from the ethnic groups. The restrictive nature appears to have negative impacts on the Asian children, although in some instances it reveals positive effects (Tajima & Harachi, 2010).

Acculturation gaps are problematic because they contribute to challenges in family communication and mutual understandings.  The acculturation gap creates difference among the Bangladeshis and Indians generations in varied ways. For instance, it is difficult for the first generation immigrants to assimilate new cultural values and norms, whereas the second immigration generation assimilates them easily, because they grow up in the U.S. Therefore, they acculturate quickly through adopting new language, cultural values and norms. Moreover, children learn new language faster and they become proficient in communication. When the immigrant children do not have formal education, the acculturation gap may exist, because it becomes difficult for them to discuss controversial issues with their parents as they grow up.

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The increasing numbers of research studies have indicated that the acculturation gap among the immigrant families may not always occur and the acculturation gaps may be overstated. The range of psychologists and sociologists has operationalized the phenomenon. This acculturation gap does not always occur in the expected direction, but the hypothesis stipulates that most immigrant parents are more acculturated to their heritage than their children. Moreover, the adolescent are more acculturated to the new culture, and they assimilate very quickly compared to their parents. This creates acculturated gap between parents and their children. Some studies indicate that adolescents in families and their parents become acculturated to the new culture (Zhou & Gatewood, 2000).

The possible differences that may arise between the first and the second generation immigrants are varied. First, difficulty in adolescent adjustments may arise. The research study reveals that acculturation gaps and cultural dissonance are linked with adolescent adjustments, which includes depression and problematic behaviors. The gaps in the Asian language proficiency are linked to the depression for the Asian Americans adolescents.  With the respect to problem behaviors, acculturation dissonance is linked to violent behaviors among the Indians and Bengalis living in the U.S. Moreover, in the academic achievements the Indians and Bengalis scored lower because of language use.

Another possible difference is family conflicts. These are linked to the acculturation gaps amongst the first and the second immigrant generations. A number of research carried out indicated that family conflicts were predicted more in the second immigrants generation than the first immigrants generation because of the acculturated gaps. The conflicts were higher in the Indian Americans especially the adolescents, and the acculturation gap was mediated by family adjustments. Additionally, acculturation discrepancies were linked to family conflicts. This was related to less bonding in the family, and it resulted in other problem-related behaviors (Jain & Belsky, 997). For the Indian Americans, discrepancies in cultural heritage and acculturation between the adolescent and their parents revealed less parental support. This resulted in increased family stress and less efficient parental practices.

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Lastly, the acculturation gap may cause differences in cultural values and norms. Acculturation gap emerges between the Indians and the Bengalis parents as they acculturate at varied rates. This occurs mostly when the parents are more acculturated than their children and sometimes when the children are more acculturated than their parents. Such gaps lead to family misunderstandings and they affect the cultural heritage of the immigrants. This may create conflicts among the varied cultures and they may lead to prejudice of one another.

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