Sense of Indebtedness Toward Parents: Korean American Emerging Adults’ Narratives of Parental Sacrifice

Hyeyoung Kang, Reed W. Larson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This research examined the construct “sense of indebtedness toward parents” (SIP) as a concept that helps explain positive change in Korean American (KA) emerging adults’ views of their parents despite experiencing a high level of parent-adolescent challenges. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 25 KA emerging adults. Most described experiencing SIP, defined as “a person’s recognition of his or her immigrant parents’ child-centered immigration aspirations and their sacrifice for the sake of children.” Findings showed that the formation of SIP was facilitated by processes related to developmental and contextual changes pertaining to emerging adulthood. These processes helped participants reinterpret their experiences with parents as entailing sacrifices made on their behalf. The findings highlight diverse emerging adulthood experience due to immigrant or cultural context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)561-581
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Adolescent Research
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 11 2014

Keywords

  • emerging adulthood
  • immigrant families
  • intergenerational relationships
  • Korean/Asian Americans
  • meaning-making
  • sense of indebtedness toward parents

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