This qualitative study explored the African international students’ beliefs on child rearing practices and challenges faced as they pursued their education at a Midwestern University in the United States (US). Eleven International Student families (husband and wife) from sub-Saharan Africa were selected as a focus group. Semi-structured interviews were used to collect data from each of the five participating family members. Five children from these families were also interviewed. The interview process was casually conversational. There were no formal written questions. Questions emerged as the conversation developed. The grounded theory analysis indicated that challenges that the international students faced worked against their beliefs on variables such as marriage, the value of children, domestic hierarchical order, and social interactions among many other traditional rites. A detailed analysis of data categorized the challenges in the upbringing of their children in the US as caused by external and internal factors. Among the external factors were such as the power of the media, peer pressure, prejudice, language, and US cultural influence. Internal factors were financial difficulties, cultural beliefs, and lack of time. These factors had significant stress level for the families as they struggled to adjust in the US educational and community settings. Based on the findings the authors conclude that there were several elements that would enable parents and their respective children embrace positive elements from African and American cultures, to positively acclimate, pursue education, and raise children in the US in a positive way.
|Keywords:||Child Rearing Practice, Beliefs, International Students, Culture, Stress|
Assistant Professor, Health & Kinesiology, Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas, USA
Assistant Professor, School of Education and Leadership, Notre Dame De Namur University, Belmont, California, USA
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