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Title:The negotiation processes between remotely acculturating divorced coparents in relation to children's adjustment in urban Turkey: The moderating role of coparenting quality
Author(s):Giray, Cagla
Director of Research:Ferguson, Gail M.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Ferguson, Gail M.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Ebata, Aaron; Ogolsky, Brian; Lazarevic, Vanja
Department / Program:Human Dvlpmt & Family Studies
Discipline:Human Dvlpmt & Family Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):remote acculturation
acculturation gap
Abstract:Modern globalization and rising divorce rates in urban Turkey have brought visible reconfigurations in family and coparenting dynamics. Bridging remote acculturation, coparenting, and divorce literatures, perceived differences in parents’ cultural orientations to the remote U.S. culture and home culture (i.e., perceived parental remote acculturation gaps) could be an asset for children whose parents have a high-quality coparenting relationship; but these cultural gaps could also be a liability for children whose divorced coparents have a low-quality coparenting relationship. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to elucidate the moderating role of coparenting quality in the association between perceived parental remote acculturation gaps in two acculturation domains (behavior, identity) and children’s internalizing behaviors (anxiety, social withdrawal) as perceived by divorced mothers in urban Turkey. Altogether, 177 divorced mothers from three cities in urban Turkey reported their own and their ex-partners’ remote acculturation to U.S. and Turkish cultures using the Turkish Vancouver Index of Acculturation (for Behavioral Acculturation) and an adapted version of Language, Identity, Behavior Scale (for Identity and Language Acculturation). Mothers also reported their perceptions of the coparenting quality with their ex-partners (Triangulation and Coparental Cooperation) and their joint child’s internalizing behaviors (Anxiety and Social Withdrawal) using the adapted version of Coparenting Questionnaire (CQ) and the Turkish Child Behavior Checklist (the corollary of the CBCL). Remote acculturation gaps were operationalized statistically using the interaction method in regression analyses. Preliminary descriptive cluster analysis revealed two clusters of mothers based on their remote acculturation patterns. Relative to a “Traditional Turkish” cluster (n = 86, 48.6%), “AmeriTurk” mothers (n = 91, 51.4%) reported a stronger orientation to U.S. behaviors and identity, a weaker orientation to Turkish behaviors and identity, and higher English language competency. In the main analyses, a series of stepwise regression analyses revealed that only triangulation significantly moderated the link between the perceived gaps in parents’ American orientation (behavior: β = .240, p<.001; β = .267, p<.001 and identity: β = .210, p< .001) and children’s anxiety and social withdrawal, correspondingly. Results were near identical across behavior and identity domains of remote acculturation, except the link between perceived parental remote acculturation gaps and social withdrawal was only true for the behavior domain. Further exploration of three-way interactions revealed that the association between mothers’ Americanization and their children’s internalizing behaviors significantly differed as a function of fathers’ Americanization. First, under the conditions of high triangulation, children whose mothers had low American orientation paired with fathers who were perceived to have high Americanization had fewer internalizing behaviors. On the other hand, under the conditions of low triangulation, children whose mothers had low American orientation paired with fathers who were perceived to have high Americanization had more internalizing behaviors. Results of the current study expanded our understanding of AmeriTurk mothers by examining three remote acculturation domains (behavior, identity, language) and highlighted the importance of triangulation in the association between parental remote acculturation gaps and children’s internalizing behaviors after divorce. Findings revealed that perceived parental remote acculturation gaps whereby mothers are not very Americanized but perceived fathers to be more Americanized may be protective for children with triangulating parents. In these globalizing divorced families in Turkey, children may realize that their divorced parents have different cultural worldviews and may expect an interparental clash; thus, when they are being pulled (i.e., triangulated) into the arguments, they may attribute the reason of the argument to the gap in their divorced parents’ degrees of cultural orientation. Hence, children’s positive appraisals (not blaming themselves and not feeling threatened) might protect them from the negative emotional consequences of triangulation. On the other hand, findings also showed that the same perceived parental remote acculturation gap may be bad for children of non-triangulating families. In these families, children may experience higher internalizing behaviors as they do not have the triangulation to deflect the blame off themselves. However, having coparents with similar cultural views who are able to communicate without including their children in interparental dialogues might alleviate children’s internalizing behaviors. Two Americanized non-triangulating parents might be using a different type of cultural brokering whereby they may navigate and blend their internalization of American culture. Taken together, study results underscored the idea that “one size doesn’t fit all” for all divorced families and took us one step closer to elucidating under what conditions parental remote acculturation gaps might be associated with coparenting and children’s adjustment. In conclusion, results, especially if they are replicated in other globalizing settings across the urban Majority World, suggest promising avenues to better understand divorced family dynamics and children’s adjustment in the context of remote acculturation. Future directions and implications were discussed.
Issue Date:2019-04-17
Rights Information:Copyright 2019 Cagla Giray
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-08-23
Date Deposited:2019-05

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