Date of Award

May 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Psychology

First Advisor

Susie D. Lamborn

Committee Members

Jacqueline Nguyen, Christopher Lawson, Bo Zhang, William Velez


Ethnic Identity, Ethnic Socialization, Gender, Hmong, Intergenerational Conflict, Parent-child Conflict


Working from a cultural-ecological perspective, this study focused on ethnic socialization, the socialization messages that parents convey to teach children about their ethnic background in relation to ethnic identity. In this study, ethnic socialization is conceptualized as a multidimensional construct that is separate from racial socialization. Six ethnic socialization subscales (e.g., Cultural Values, Ethnic Pride, Cultural Heritage, Cultural Embeddedness, Cultural History, and Preparation for Marriage) from parents' and adolescents' perspectives were examined in association with ethnic identity for 116 Hmong American parents and their adolescents. In addition, intergenerational conflict, one aspect of the nature of the parent-child relationship, was examined as a potential moderator between components of ethnic socialization and ethnic identity. It was hypothesized that the association between each component of ethnic socialization and ethnic identity would be stronger at low levels of intergenerational conflict than at higher levels. In addition, we examined gender patterns in the moderator models to determine whether the role of intergenerational conflict as a moderator variable would appear differently for boys and girls. Furthermore, the study examined which of the six ethnic socialization subscales would emerge as the best predictor of ethnic identity. Contrary to our hypothesis, intergenerational conflict did not moderate the association between any of the six ethnic socialization subscales and ethnic identity in the overall sample. However, intergenerational conflict moderated the association between adolescents' ethnic socialization and ethnic identity exploration among boys but not among girls. More work is needed to understand the relation between ethnic socialization and ethnic identity for each gender. Of the ethnic socialization subscales that we examined, Cultural Heritage had the strongest association with ethnic identity. Overall, Hmong American parents engaged in a wide variety of ethnic socialization practices that were associated with ethnic identity for Hmong American adolescents.