26th Biennial Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development (ISSBD)

Parental expectations in immigrant families in Greece: International Differences

Angelopoulou M.  & Pavlopoulos V. / Department of Psychology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece

Cross-cultural study affirms that people possess different, deep-rooted and widely acknowledged beliefs and behaviors that may be normative and functioning in their culture, but not necessarily in another culture. Family constitutes an important matrix concerning child socialization and emotional development. The present study examines the expectations of adult children from immigrant families in Greece and the diverse value systems from the aspect of two immigrant generations and two different cultural roots.

Two focus groups of second generation immigrant adults were conducted in order to discuss about their parents’ expectations and their expectations for their future children. They also exchanged opinions regarding their acculturation process.

Discussions were audiotaped and transcriptions were analyzed in two categories; exact quote on transcript and additional data (non-verbal/interaction communication). Thematic data analysis followed. Findings place emphasis on individualistic and collectivistic values concerning parental expectations. Results document the significance of historical and economic conditions which form these expectations. They also indicate the importance of acculturation regarding similarities and differences in targets of two immigrant generations. In addition, findings highlight differences in gender expectations.

As there is an immigrant increase in Greece during the last three decades and there are insufficient data on parenting of first and second generation immigrant families, this research contributes to better understanding of this field. The Greek society has gradually been transformed in a multicultural society, therefore, psychoeducation respecting cross-cultural parenting seems to be a major target in order to create functional interpersonal relationships.

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Keywords: Parental Expectations, Acculturation, Focus Groups