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Influences of Personal Standards and Perceived Parental Expectations on Worry for Asian American and White American College Students

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Title: Influences of Personal Standards and Perceived Parental Expectations on Worry for Asian American and White American College Students
Author(s): Saw, Anne
Director of Research: Berenbaum, Howard
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Okazaki, Sumie
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Berenbaum, Howard; Heller, Wendy; Pomerantz, Eva; Hubert, Lawrence J.
Department / Program: Psychology
Discipline: Psychology
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): worry anxiety Asian American parental expectations standards racial differences family school college students
Abstract: Previous research suggests that Asian American college students experience higher levels of pressure for academic success and higher levels of parental expectations and criticism compared to White Americans. Moreover, perceived discrepancies between parental expectations and academic outcome have been found to be related to psychological distress for Asian Americans. In studies with White Americans, discrepancies between expectations and outcome have been specifically connected to worry, a central feature of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. However, worry remains an understudied psychological phenomenon in Asian Americans, who may be particularly vulnerable to this form of distress. The current study examines perceptions of living up to parental expectations and personal standards as possible mediators of the relationship between race and worry in a sample of 836 Asian Americans and 856 White Americans. Results indicate that Asian Americans and White Americans do not differ in levels of pathological worry as measured by the Penn State Worry Questionnaire, but Asian Americans report higher frequency of worry across multiple domains as measured by the Worry Domains Questionnaire. Perceptions of living up to parental expectations of current academic performance and personal standards for preparation for a future career partially explain racial differences in frequency of worry about school. Standards for respect for the family partially explain racial differences in frequency of worry about the family. The findings highlight the importance of considering personal and perceived parental expectations to understand Asian Americans’ worry.
Issue Date: 2010-08-20
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/16880
Rights Information: Copyright 2010 Anne Saw
Date Available in IDEALS: 2010-08-20
Date Deposited: 2010-08
 

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