Date Completed

Winter 2013

Document Type

Masters Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


This qualitative, exploratory study examined the experiences of immigrant Hispanic parents when raising their children in the American culture. Through the use of purposive sampling six parent-participants and five youth-participants were identified and selected. The study’s inclusion criteria established the participation of individuals with the following characteristics: a) immigrant Hispanic parents who immigrated to the US within the last 20 years and who have been raising their children in the American culture, especially in the State of Washington; b) 12 to 19 years old US born youth whose parents are Hispanic immigrants; or c) 12 to 19 years old immigrant Hispanic youth who have been raised in the US. Study participants consented to face to face, in-depth interviews that were audio-taped.

Key findings established that the different levels of acculturation experienced by immigrant Hispanic parents and their children resulted in the loss of common language which prevented the transference of parental cultural values. This situation generated feelings of difference and distance between parents and their children, consequently causing parental stress. In an effort to address this family distancing, parents switched from a hierarchical to an egalitarian parenting style. The findings emphasize the need to recognize culture-specific stressors in the parent-child relationship. Implications for social work practice are discussed.


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Social Work Commons