2024 Undergraduate Research Showcase

The Pressures of Immigration on Cultural Values and Parental Beliefs and Practices: A Comparison Between Indian Families Living in India vs. the U.S.

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Iryna Babik


In India, cultural values, parental practices, and religious beliefs are transmitted through modeling, a joint family system, and their community.1 From previous research, parents who have immigrated from India to the U.S., experience additional pressures and difficulties in rearing their children and preserving their culture due to limited family and community guidance, different filial roles, and cultural expectations for children in the U.S.2,3 These pressures include children becoming “too American” in behavior, values, and outlooks, an increase in challenging authority, and parents introducing more practices, and having their children participate in more activities to build a stronger connection to their Indian culture.4,5 In the current study, a qualitative analysis was conducted from data gathered in interviews of 23 Indian families (10 living in the U.S. and 13 living in India). There did not appear to be an overcompensation of cultural practices or extreme pressures within the Indian families living in the U.S. However, many Indian parents living in the U.S. discuss a lack of family or support system, which results in them spending more time with their children but adds difficulties in transmitting native culture. It was also found that with this lack of a support system, the family and children had to be more independent with chores, cleaning, and responsibilities. In India, the children appear to have more classes and educational responsibilities, whereas in the U.S., children have fewer educational responsibilities and more freedom to participate in alternative activities outside of school.


  1. Inman, A. G., Howard, E. E., Beaumont, R. L., & Walker, J. A. (2007). Cultural transmission: Influence of contextual factors in Asian Indian immigrant parents’ experiences. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 54(1), 93–100. https://doi-org/10.1037/0022-0167.54.1.93
  2. Baptiste, D. A. (2005). Family therapy with East Indian immigrant parents rearing children in the United States: Parental concerns, therapeutic issues, and recommendations. Contemporary Family Therapy: An International Journal, 27(3), 345–366. https://doi-org/10.1007/s10591-005-6214-9
  3. Farver, J. M., Yiyuan Xu, Bhadha, B. R., Narang, S., & Lieber, E. (2007). Ethnic identity, acculturation, parenting beliefs, and adolescent adjustment: A comparison of Asian Indian and European American Families. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 53(2), 184–215. https://doi-org/10.1353/mpq.2007.0010
  4. Bhattacharya, G., & Schoppelrey, S. L. (2004). Preimmigration beliefs of life success, postimmigration experiences, and acculturative stress: South Asian immigrants in the United States. Journal of Immigrant Health, 6(2), 83–92. https://doi.org/10.1023/B:JOIH.0000019168.75062.36
  5. Pettys, G. L., & Balgopal, P. R. (1998). Multigenerational conflicts and new immigrants: An Indo-American experience. Families in Society, 79(4), 410-423.

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