Chen, Ping (2022). Adolescents’ Perceived Cohesion Toward Their Parents in Intact Families of a National Study: A Conceptual and Empirical Exploration.
While the concept of family cohesion in immigrant families has frequently been explored, its definition has not been clearly constructed, which lead to disagreement on how this concept should be measured. A Common practice was to apply exploratory factor analysis to operationalize family cohesion. This study aims to take an alternative approach, using confirmatory factor analysis in the structural equation modeling (SEM) framework to conceptualize and operationalize the latent concept, perceived cohesion of the adolescent toward parents, in the context of parent-child relationships. Furthermore, a spectrum of important factors, parents’ involvement in activities with the child, are used to examine how they affect perceived cohesion of youth toward parents in mimic models of SEM. Data come from Wave I of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health 1994-1995 in grades 7-12) which uses a subsample of over 13,000 adolescents from multiple immigrant generations in intact two-parent families. Findings reveal that the operational definition of adolescents’ perceived cohesion comprises of two dimensions, feelings of closeness and perceived affective support. The improved definition of perceived cohesion contributes a better understanding of what it means to adolescents when they think about cohesion towards their parents. This study further suggests that parental involvement in various activities with the child, including going shopping, playing sport, going to religious related event, going out for a movie, play, museum, concert, or sports event, working on a project for school, and having evening meals with the child, has significantly positive impacts on perceived cohesion of adolescents toward their parents in intact two-parent immigrant families.