Cultural Consideration of Resilience for Chinese Immigrant Children and Adolescents

Hong Ni, Chieh Li, Jiarong Zhao


The current article provides cultural considerations about resilience for Chinese immigrant children and adolescents for mental health professionals by 1) reviewing resilience and culture literature relevant to Chinese population and 2) reporting a pilot empirical study that compared Chinese and American middle school students’ perception of resilience on the ClassMaps Survey. Overall, the literature on resilience and culture suggests that across cultures, including the Chinese culture, there are common resilience factors for children and adolescents. These factors include social support (such as positive adult-child relationships, peer friendships, and positive home-school/parent-teacher relationships) and individual characteristics (such as self-control, self-determination or goal determination). Enhancement of these factors would promote all children and adolescents’ resilience, including Chinese immigrant children and adolescents. However, research also suggests that the expression and interpretation of the resilience factors, as well as the resilience mechanism, would depend on the culture. For Chinese students, academic self-efficacy does not play a significant role in resilience in school as for American students. Cultural strengths such as strong family relationships and Taoist and Confucianist approaches to adversity could be used for improving resilience among Chinese immigrants. It is hoped that, with cultural considerations, mental health professionals will facilitate resilience among Chinese immigrant children and adolescents more effectively. 


resilience, culture, Chinese immigrants

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