Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Paper

Degree Name



Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Fernand Lubuguin, Ph.D.

Second Committee Member

Jenny Cornish, Ph.D.

Third Committee Member

Nai Chieh (Geri) Tien, Ph.D.


East Asian American, Immigrant Asian parents, Structural family therapy

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


The author developed detailed guidelines for adapting the structural family therapy approach for therapists who work with immigrant east Asian American families. Due to different acculturation levels among family members, immigrant parents often have conflicts with their children, which have become an important reason why Asian American families seek mental health services. The review of both traditional east Asian family-related cultural values and European American cultural values illustrates the parenting emphases that vary to a great extent between these two broad cultural groups. The widely accepted child development theories, parenting theories, and family therapy approaches were developed primarily based on European American populations. Asian American parenting approaches are often regarded as less favorable when they are evaluated using the Western parenting standards. However, many studies indicated that the traditional Asian American parenting approaches, including the parents' emphasis on respect for elders, interdependency, self-control, and education, did not impact the children negatively. Studies suggested reduced treatment effectiveness when therapists treat east Asian families using Western developed family therapy approaches, such as structural family therapy, without adaption. The author adapted each structural family technique for immigrant east Asian family by incorporating their traditional parenting values into the standard techniques.


Copyright held by the author.


42 pages

Available for download on Monday, June 29, 2020