Sopheap Keo
  
Master of Social Work
   California State University at Long Beach

Child-Rearing and Discipline among Cambodian Americans


The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between Cambodian perceptions of child rearing, acculturation, and disciplinary practices that are considered appropriate versus those that can be viewed as child abuse. The study consisted of 50 Cambodian adults living in the Los Angeles area.
      The results of this exploratory study showed that child rearing and disciplinary practices among the Cambodian respondents included methods that may be considered physical and psychological maltreatment by the American child welfare system. Respondents with lower levels of acculturation (to the United States) were more likely to use traditional Cambodian approaches of disciplining, which included physical or emotional maltreatment. Respondents who entered the United States at 19 years or older were significantly less acculturated than those who entered at 18 or less or those who were born in the United States. Similarly, respondents who entered the United State at 19 years or older had a significantly more traditional Cambodian approach toward disciplining than those who entered at 18 or less or those who were born in the United States. Implications for social work practice and research are discussed.


  1. INTRODUCTION
    Problem Statement
    Issues Explored
    Definition of Terms

  2. LITERATURE REVIEW
    Historical Overview of Child Abuse and Neglect
    Child Welfare Services in Los Angeles County
    Child Abuse and Neglect in Cultural Perspective
    Western Views on Discipline
    CAMBODIAN CONTEXT
    Background of the Cambodian People
         Recent Cambodian History
         The Refugee Camp Experience
    The Refugee Resettlement in the United States
         Socioeconomic Status
         Acculturation
    Family Relationships
         Child Rearing Practices
         Cambodian Disciplinary Practices
    Summary

  3. METHODOLOGY
    Research Design
    Sample
    Instrument
    Data Collection
    Data Analysis

  4. SURVEY RESULTS | TABLES
    Demographic Characteristics of the Sample
    Respondents' Attitudes Toward Discipline of Children
    Respondents' Methods of Discipline
    Respondents' Levels of Acculturation
    Internal Consistency of Scales
    Relationship of Acculturation, Attitudes Toward Discipline,
         and Methods of Discipline
    Effects of Demographics on Acculturation, Attitudes
         Toward Discipline, and Methods of Discipline

  5. DISCUSSION
    Summary of Demographic Characteristics of the Sample
    Summary of Respondents' Attitudes Toward Discipline of
         Children
    Summary of Respondents' Methods of Discipline
    Summary of Respondents' Level of Acculturation
    Summary of Relationships Among Acculturation, Attitudes
         Toward Discipline, and Methods of Discipline
    Summary of Effects of Demographics on Acculturation, Attitudes
         Toward Discipline, and Methods of Discipline
    Limitations of the Study
    Relevance to Social Work
    Recommendations for Future Research

  6. REFERENCES

Although the structure of this thesis has been modified for posting, its substance and the author's findings have not been altered in any way.


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