Perceived Parental Remote Acculturation Gaps Among Divorced Coparents and Children’s Adjustment in Turkey

Cagla Giray, Gail M. Ferguson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The possibility of differential remote acculturation to a distant culture is yet another chasm that divorced coparents must bridge as they raise their children in globalizing urban settings. This study explored the association between parental remote acculturation and perceived parental remote acculturation gaps in two acculturation domains (behavior, identity), in relation to children’s adjustment in Turkish divorced families. Altogether, 177 urban divorced mothers in Turkey reported their own and their ex-partners’ remote acculturation to U.S. and Turkish cultures, and their joint children’s internalizing (social withdrawal, anxiety) and externalizing (aggression) behaviors. Perceived remote acculturation gaps were operationalized with match:mismatch and interaction methods. Sequential regression analyses accounting for parental conflict resolution revealed that mothers’ perceptions of fathers’ American identity was positively associated with children’s social withdrawal. Regarding perceived acculturation gaps, one particular cross-dimension pairing—strongly U.S.-identified “AmeriTurk” mothers paired with strongly Turkish-identified fathers—predicted lower internalizing problems. Although having an Americanized father might confer some risk for children in divorced families in Turkey, having an “AmeriTurk” mother and traditional Turkish father may be protective, suggesting the benefit of integration as a family-level remote acculturation strategy. Taken together, parental remote acculturation and perceived remote acculturation gaps in identity (not behavior) predicted the socioemotional (not behavioral) adjustment of children above and beyond parental discord. Findings highlight the family repercussions of remote acculturation in Eurasia, underscore the importance of multidomain acculturation measurement, confirm the superior sensitivity of the interaction method, and extend its application to assessing cross-dimension pairings as a new type of acculturation gap.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1573-1595
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Volume49
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018

Keywords

  • Turkey
  • acculturation gap
  • divorce
  • externalizing
  • internalizing
  • remote acculturation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology

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