2024 Undergraduate Research Showcase

Comparing Parental Practices Between Taiwanese Families and U.S. Families: Is ‘Tiger Parenting’ Really Prevalent in the East?

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Student Presentation

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Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Iryna Babik


“Tiger parenting” relates to a stereotypical type of harsh Chinese parental practices common among Chinese parents.³ This parenting can be defined by high expectations placed on children by their parents regarding academic success and personal achievements. A visual of this behavior is a parent who wants their child to always come in first.¹ Tiger parenting is achievement-oriented, values hard work, prioritizes education, utilizes severe discipline, is critical about failures, and expects perfection. Much of this stems from Confucius's ideals that emphasized aspirations to learn, intellectual development, and educational success.² Confucius also stated parenting is about the development of children with characteristics of perfection, which contributes to the different aspects of “Tiger Parenting. The question remains, whether “tiger parenting” is common in modern Taiwan. How different are parental practices between Taiwan and the U.S.? Through the qualitative analysis of interview transcripts, nineteen American and twenty-six Taiwanese parents were compared using their descriptions of how they interact with their children. Preliminary results revealed that while influences of “Tiger parenting” can be found, this stereotype is not to be generalized. Of the twenty-six Taiwanese parents, four brought up “tiger” parenting by name and only three claimed to be a “tiger” parent. All Taiwanese parents talked about their view of the importance of education or that education was prioritized by parents in Taiwan. Taiwanese parents would also talk about how physical punishment was still common in Taiwan, while U.S. parents never mentioned corporal punishment as an option for discipline.


  1. Chua A.(2012) Battle hyme of the tiger mother. Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.
  2. Guo, K. (2013). Ideals and realities in Chinese immigrant parenting: Tiger mother versus others. Journal of Family Studies, 19(1), 44–52. DOI: 10.5172/jfs.2013.19.1.44
  3. Kim, S. Y. (2013). Defining Tiger Parenting in Chinese Americans. Human Development (0018716X), 56(4), 217–222. DOI: 10.1159/000353711

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