Children raised in inter-ethnic families better adjusted than children in mono-ethnic families

September 6, 2012

A study on the emotional and behavioural adjustments of children from inter-ethnic and mono-ethnic families in Malaysia challenges traditional assumptions about inter-ethnic families.

The research finds that children from mixed Malay-Chinese parentage have fewer emotional and than their mono-ethnic peers and could have important implications for child development and interventions in Malaysia.

Inter-ethnic children are one of the fastest growing populations worldwide, and some research have suggested that they have higher risk of poor outcomes, including breakdown, academic underachievement and psychology maladjustment. Research published this month in the Pertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities explores whether ethnically mixed children are less well psychologically adjusted when compared to children from mono-ethnic families.

Tan Jo-Pei of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Faculty of , Universiti Putra Malaysia, studied the behavioural adjustments of 218 interethnic Malay-Chinese and 214 mono-ethnic Malay and Chinese families in Malaysia, taking into account the quality of parental relationships, and parenting behaviour. In the study, children from mixed parentage reported fewer emotional and behavioural problems than those from mono- families. This provides evidence for positive adjustment amongst the mixed-parentage children growing up in a multicultural community, and challenges traditional assumptions. The results could in part be explained by parental concern about the social discrimination against of mixed parentage. The author hopes they could serve as a basis for designing family-specific interventions in Malaysia and other multicultural societies.

Explore further: Awareness of ethnicity-based stigma found to start early

Related Stories

Awareness of ethnicity-based stigma found to start early

August 30, 2011

Students are stigmatized for a variety of reasons, with youths from ethnic-minority backgrounds often feeling devalued in school. New research on young children from a range of backgrounds has found that even elementary school ...

Do kids prefer playmates of same ethnicity?

June 21, 2011

Multicultural daycares don't necessarily foster a desire for kids of visibly different ethnicities to play together. A study on Asian-Canadian and French-Canadian preschoolers has found these children may have a preference ...

Recommended for you

Who needs stress? We all do. Here's why

January 17, 2017

If you could do something to decrease your risk of memory failure, to increase your self-confidence, to be a better public speaker, to improve your brain, to help you deal with back pain, to bust out of your comfort zone, ...

Teens unlikely to be harmed by moderate digital screen use

January 13, 2017

Parents and pediatricians alike may worry about the effects of teens' screen time, but new findings from over 120,000 adolescents in the UK indicate that the relationship between screen time and well-being is weak at best, ...

Schizophrenia could directly increase risk of diabetes

January 12, 2017

People with early schizophrenia are at an increased risk of developing diabetes, even when the effects of antipsychotic drugs, diet and exercise are taken out of the equation, according to an analysis by researchers from ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.