Parenting and preschool child behaviour amongst Turkish immigrant, migrant and non-migrant families



Publication Details

Daglar, M., Melhuish, E. & Barnes, J. (2011). Parenting and preschool child behaviour amongst Turkish immigrant, migrant and non-migrant families. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 8 (3), 261-279.


When families migrate the new culture and culture of origin may conflict, with possible consequences for parenting and children's development. Turks form one of the largest immigrant groups in Western Europe, and there is also much movement within Turkey. This study compares three groups; Turkish immigrants to the UK (N = 142), migrants within Turkey (N = 229), and Turkish non-migrants (locals, N = 396). The children were 39-71 months old (M = 58 months, SD = 6.5), 392 were boys and 375 were girls. Parents supplied data on family characteristics and parenting, and teachers supplied data on children's behaviour. Using Baumrind's parenting model and allowing for background effects, compared to non-migrants and migrants, the immigrant parents were less permissive and more authoritarian. Children in immigrant families had more externalizing problems, internalizing problems and emotional dysregulation and less social competence than migrant and non-migrant children. Multilevel models and structural equation models both found that these effects upon child behaviour were evident after taking into account demographic factors and were not eliminated by taking into account parenting style differences, and thus suggest that immigration and migration are risk factors for child behaviour. Effects of immigrant and migrant status were partly direct and partly indirect via their effects on parenting.

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