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  • Editorial Comments
  • Donald Swenson

This year is a milestone for the Journal. We are publishing this year articles on comparative family studies that are preceded by fifty years of quality research on family life, systems, structure and kin relationships that have a cross-national, cross-ethnic, and cross cultural nature. We, again, thank the late Dr. George Kurian for his amazing insight to look at the family beyond the typical research done in North America and Europe. This year has seen the passage of the Journal from the Kurians to Trinity Western University, under the care of the Dean Dr. Todd Martin. This year also marks the first time that the University of Toronto Press is publishing the Journal. Indeed, it has been said that current work builds on giants of the past. One such giant is Dr. Kurian, to whom we are so grateful for his pioneering efforts.

You have before you the first articles of 2019 that carry on the fifty year legacy of quality publishing. We invite you to read and digest some of the state of the art research in comparative family scholarship.

The most common theme of this issue is parenting. This is followed by two non-related articles, cohabitation and marital quality.


Three articles are devoted to this vitally important familial topic. The first one accents the effect of parental expectations upon Asian-Canadian immigrant youth. The research authors, Jeongyoon Moon and Mónica Ruiz-Casares, asked forty-nine first- and second-generation Asian immigrant university students their experiences of their migration trajectory, parents' influence in choosing their field of study, and perceived conflict and stress.

Using a mixed methods approach, the study explores how factors such as exposure to parental struggles post-migration, parental expectation, and the sense of filial piety are related to each other and influence distress in Asian immigrant youth. Their study has shown that parental difficulties in the context of migration and young people's awareness of those were highly correlated for Asian university students, including both first- and second-generation respondents. Key parental struggles upon migration included financial difficulty, adapting to a new culture, and downward social mobility. The average depression score of first-generation respondents was significantly higher than that of second-generation respondents.

Kaka Shim and Hyunsook Shin authored the second article on parenting. Their data source emerged from focus groups that consisted of twenty South Korean mothers who had one to three school age children at the time of the interviews. Their primary research question was: "What are the strategies of making parenting decisions?"

The ecological theory of the family was used to interpret the data. After their content analysis, the authors discovered three primary themes that are laid out well in Table Two: how parenting decisions are made, and barriers to parenting [End Page 3] and mothers' needs for parenting decisions. Under the theme how decisions are made, two sub-themes emerged: advice from people close to the mother and searching the internet for information. These mothers perceived that barriers to parenting consisted of economic difficulties; workplace related obstacles; spouses differing about parenting decisions; an inadequate Korean childcare policy; and an anxiety about making the best decision.

The theme on the mothers' need for help in making the adequate decision resulted in the elucidation of these needs: increased social support for parenting; consideration of having healthy parents as caregivers; having training in how to parent and the consultation of experts. They conclude their article by noting: "Therefore, support should be offered to mothers both within the family and community and by the government to help them overcome difficulties in making parenting decisions and make wise choices for their preschool-age children."

Barbara A. Mitchell, Andrew V. Wister, and Bozena Zdaniuk, of Vancouver, Canada, also used a mixed method analysis and investigated stress among parents aged fifty-year old plus with at least one adult child aged 19-35 still living at home. The authors organized interviews with 588 parents, and a smaller subset of face-to-face in-depth follow-up of twenty-five. Those interviewed were self-identified with one of four ethnocultural groups: British, Chinese, Persian/Iranian or South Asian-Canadian...


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