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Title: Covert parental control: Parent-adolescent interaction and adolescent development in a Chinese context
Author(s): Lam, Ching Man 
Issue Date: 2003
Publisher: De Gruyter
Journal: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health 
Volume: 15
Issue: 1
Start page: 63
End page: 77
Although there are well-known theories of adolescent development in the West, there is a notable lack of theory and empirical support for understanding the process of Chinese adolescent development. This paper investigates the parental attitudes and practices of Chinese-Canadian immigrant parents and the reactions of adolescents in an effort to elucidate the pattern of parent-adolescent interaction and the process of adolescent development in the Chinese-Canadian cultural context. A qualitative study approach was used to explore the experiences and views of 19 adolescents and ten of their parents. The findings indicate that Chinese parents and adolescents co-construct the dominant theme of “covert parental control" in the adolescent development process. "Covert control," in this context, refers to a form of parenting characterized by parental guidance, family teaching, coaching, and monitoring. Parents, through “tact” and “skills,” successfully influence and guide their adolescent children. Adolescents, motivated by their sense of loyalty to family and the concepts associated with parental guidance, reinforce their parents’ covert control and the indigenous concept of "guan” in the practice of Chinese parenting.
DOI: 10.1515/IJAMH.2003.15.1.63
CIHE Affiliated Publication: No
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