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Posted at 06:03 PM ET, 06/18/2012

Asian-American parenting attitudes explored in Pew survey

The Pew Research Center on Tuesday released a wide-ranging report on Asian Americans that challenges some assumptions and supports others, particularly when it comes to parenting.

The survey, called “The Rise of Asian Americans” notes that Asians are the largest group of new immigrants arriving each year in the United States and make up about 6 percent of the total population.

Researchers point out the obvious: there is no one “Asian” culture. They surveyed immigrants and descendants of immigrants from several different countries. The majority of Asian Americans are from China, India, Japan, Korea, the Philippines and Vietnam.

One of the findings is that despite last year’s debate over “tiger” parenting, triggered by the publication of Amy Chua’s “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” it seems Asian American parents are just like other American parents.

Meaning, they are not of one mind on how best to raise a child.

The group surveyed was split on whether parents from their ethnic group put the right amount of pressure on their children. And almost 40 percent of respondents said that their country of origin put too much pressure on children to do well in school.

The survey showed more agreement when asked about general American parenting. The majority said American parents do not pressure their children enough.

There was also more similarity of opinion in other areas of family life, especially in terms of how long a parent should influence a child.

More than two-thirds of the respondents said “being a good parent” is one of the most important things in life. (In a survey of the general population, half of respondents answered that way.)

Sixty-six percent said parents should have at least some influence over their child’s choice of career or profession. Sixty-one percent said parents should have “a lot” or “some” influence over the choice of a spouse.

In both cases, there was a divide between foreign-born and American-born parents, with the latter expressing less enthusiasm for parental say in these decisions.

Much has been made recently about cultural influences on parenting styles. The “tiger mom” book led to other works about the supposedly better nature of French parenting, African parenting, etc.

Surveys like this do seem to suggest that ideas from different countries continue to affect what it means to be an American and an American parent.

How much do you think ethnicity matters when it comes to American parenting?

Related Content:

With excess praise losing favor, vindication for Tiger Mom?

What’s so bad about American parents, anyway?

Over-parenting: Is it something only other parents do?

By  |  06:03 PM ET, 06/18/2012

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