Academic journal article Journal of Mental Health Counseling

Aspects of Parenting and the Well-Being of Emerging Adult Language Brokers

Academic journal article Journal of Mental Health Counseling

Aspects of Parenting and the Well-Being of Emerging Adult Language Brokers

Article excerpt

In immigrant families, children often translate or interpret on behalf of their parents and other adults, a process known as language brokering (Tse, 1995). Language brokering requires linguistic knowledge and skills hut also understanding of sophisticated concepts, power dynamics of parents and other adults, cultural differences, and parent--child relations, among other areas. The activity of language brokering, therefore, may have broad implications by affecting the children engaging in the task, the parents or other adults, and the family as a whole. In addition, the individual development of language brokers, and the concomitant socioemotional, cognitive, and social changes that take place during development, may also be influenced by and influence the language-brokering activity as well as the outcomes of those experiences for language brokers (Weisskirch, 2017b). Over time, it stands to reason that, as children mature into adolescence and into emerging adulthood, their current and past language-brokering experiences may relate to their psychological well-being.

PARENTING AND LANGUAGE BROKERING

Emerging adults' current thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are likely to have been influenced by their perceptions of their parenting from the past and from recent interactions (Rohner & Britner, 2002). These perceptions may be shaped from the cumulative experience of acceptance and rejection from the parents. Parental acceptance--rejection theory asserts that parental acceptance is protective against negative outcomes (e.g., psychopathology and externalizing behaviors), whereas parental rejection may he catalytic or promotive of negative outcomes (Rohner, 2004). Accepting parenting behaviors include warmth, expression of attachment, and nurturanee; rejecting behaviors include disrespect for the child, dismissal of the child's interaction, excessively controlling behavior, and neglect (Rohner & Britner, 2002). Individuals who are rejected by parents may exhibit dependence, aggression, hostility, poor self-esteem, and inadequacy (Rohner & Lansford, 2017). Using this theory, the outcomes of language brokering may be trained by individuals' experiences of parental acceptance and parental rejection. It is likely that, when parents demonstrate acceptance and nurturanee in their interactions, the language brokers may report positive outcomes of language brokering. By contrast, when parents demonstrate rejecting behaviors, such as disrespect and psychological control, the language brokers may report negative outcomes to language brokering. Psychological control may be distinguished from behavioral control (such as regulating a child's daily activities) as "control attempts that intrude into the psychological and emotional development of the child (e.g., thinking processes, sell-expression, emotions, and attachment to parents)" (Barber, 1996, p. 3296). Psychological control from parents has been associated with reduced decision-making (Perez & Cumsille, 2012), drug and illicit substance use (Galambos, Barker, & Almeida, 2003), and depressive symptoms (Campos, Besser, & Blatt, 2010; Soenens & Vansteenkiste, 2010). Because language brokering is an iterative, dynamic process of translating for the parent and the communication source (e.g., person or document), there are likely attempts by the parent to control the child, or the child may perceive a sense of control. For example, a parent must first solicit the child's participation, request translation, assure understanding, and gauge a response. In this process, it is possible for the child to experience the parent's request as intrusive and controlling. Over time, with frequency, the experience of this process when language brokering may be amplified with maturation, resulting in negative outcomes.

This study focuses on four components of parenting stemming from parental acceptance--rejection theory: nurturanee, connection--acceptance, disrespect, and psychological control. …

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