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

Visual clues we use during walking and when we use them

July 25, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A trio of researchers with the University of Texas and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has discovered which phase of visual information processing during human walking is used most to guide the feet accurately. ...

Psychopaths are better at learning to lie, say researchers

July 25, 2017
Individuals with high levels of psychopathic traits are better at learning to lie than individuals who show few psychopathic traits, according to a study published in the open access journal Translational Psychiatry. The ...

Toddlers begin learning rules of reading, writing at very early age, study finds

July 25, 2017
Even the proudest of parents may struggle to find some semblance of meaning behind the seemingly random mish-mash of letters that often emerge from a toddler's first scribbled and scrawled attempts at putting words on paper.

Higher cognitive abilities linked to greater risk of stereotyping

July 24, 2017
People with higher cognitive abilities are more likely to learn and apply social stereotypes, finds a new study. The results, stemming from a series of experiments, show that those with higher cognitive abilities also more ...

Exposure to violence hinders short-term memory, cognitive control

July 24, 2017
Being exposed to and actively remembering violent episodes—even those that happened up to a decade before—hinders short-term memory and cognitive control, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National ...

Researchers pave new path toward preventing obesity

July 24, 2017
People who experience unpredictable childhoods due to issues such as divorce, crime or frequent moves face a higher risk of becoming obese as adults, according to a new study by a Florida State University researcher.

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.