Tiger Moms or Cat Dads: Parental Role in Bilingualism Among Asian and Latino Americans

Jihui Chen, Hyun Sook Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This study examines the differing roles of parents in producing bilingualism among second-generation Asian and Latino Americans, the fastest growing immigrant groups in the United States. Methods: We employ the probit model to estimate the likelihood of language maintenance for both ethnic groups using the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) USA of 2005–2014. Results: The estimation results show that mothers play a more significant role than fathers, especially for Latino Americans, and that heritage-language retention increases with the parents’ age at arrival. We also find an increase in the rates of language maintenance across generations, presumably resulting from heightened awareness of the need to preserve cultural heritage among younger immigrants in recent decades. Conclusion: These findings highlight the cultural and structural differences in gendered parenting between the two immigrant groups and suggest potential areas of gains through intervention programs for immigrant parents to promote parental investment in their children's development, including bilingualism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1154-1170
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Science Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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