Asian American Family Enhancement Network Bicultural Parenting Education Program (AAFEN B-PEP)

Description: The “Asian American Family Enhancement Network Bicultural Parenting Education Program (AAFEN B-PEP)” is a linguistically and culturally competent parenting education program for Chinese and Korean immigrant parents. The curriculum of this skill-based, interactive and manualized program is designed to enhance the bicultural parenting competency, as well as increase the positive communication and interaction, of the Chinese and Korean immigrant families with intermediate and high school-age children at risk for substance use and other delinquent behaviors.

The curriculum of this AAFEN Program is presented in 10 weekly sessions that are two hours each. Each weekly curriculum module includes, as appropriate, didactic presentation, interactive large and small group discussion, experiential exercise, practice role play, and homework assignment. To facilitate maximum participation and engagement, each parenting education program series is conducted with between 10 to 15 participants.

The AAFEN B-PEP is based on the Asian cultural emphasis that positive interdependence and relationship are some of the cornerstones to effective parental discipline and child rearing. It is developed to help Asian immigrant parents enhance their bicultural competence in their family management efforts, especially in the area of family conflict and family bonding. By reducing culture- and intergenerational-based family conflict as well as increasing family bonding, it is expected that the risk for delinquent behavior, including that of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug (ATOD) use, of the intermediate- and high-school age children of these parents will be decreased.

Goals/ objectives: The AAFEN B-PEP curriculum is designed to specifically address a number of risk factors that impact on family conflict and family bonding in the Asian immigrant family. They include: (a) culture-based parent-child conflict; (b) bicultural communication problem; (c) context-inappropriate parenting approaches as a result of migration; and (d) ineffective parental stress and emotional management. It also emphasizes some of the protective factors that are inherent in those Asian cultural values familiar to Asian immigrant parents. They include: (a) positive family interdependence; and (b) family non-rejection.

By successfully completing the AAFEN B-PEP Program, the program participants will learn valuable knowledge and skills in: (a) setting age-appropriate expectations for their children that are consistent with their bicultural values; (b) using appropriate communication skills and disciplinary approaches; (c) applying situation-appropriate anger management and stress reduction strategies in their parenting efforts; (d) strengthening emotional and functional connection and bonding with their children; and (e) handling conflicts with their children, including those arising from those cultural differences associated with their different immigration and generational experience.

Results: The AAFEN B-PEP Program had been collecting pre- and post- intervention program evaluation data for the first nine years since its inception. An analysis of the program outcome data was presented by Cheng, Fu, Cheng, and Gock (2012) at the Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA) Convention in 2012. Of the 110 Chinese and Korean immigrant parents who have completed this curriculum-based parenting education program series from 2005 to 2010, the data reveal that these Asian immigrant parents evince a statistically significant increase in their confidence and ability to be an effective parent, as well as in their children’s responsiveness to their disciplinary efforts. They have also reported significant improvement in their parent-child relationship. In addition, they have rated the program usefulness and their program satisfaction to be very high in terms of both curriculum content and class presentation modalities.

In more recent years, a quasi-randomized clinical trial of the AAFEN B-PEP has been conducted through the program evaluation technical assistance funding support of the SAMHSA “Service To Science (STS) Initiative” in 2013. Compared to those in a “waitlist (no intervention)” group, those Asian immigrant parents who completed the AAFEN B-PEP showed a statistically significant (p <.05) improvement in nine of the ten measures used, including: (1) Increased parent/child empathy and safety, (2) Decreased family conflict; (3) Increased authoritative parenting style (e.g. clear communication, respecting and valuing child’s feelings and opinions); (4) Increased parent-child bonding; (5) Decreased parental stress level; (6) Reduced parent’s need for control; (7) Reduced authoritarian parenting style; (8) Increased positive parenting behaviors (e.g. giving praises); and (9) Increased self-perception of efficacy as parents. These improvements over those in the “waitlist” group subsequently had continued during 6-month follow-up in seven of those measures.

Population of focus: Asian immigrant parents

Contact information:

Terry S. Gock, Ph.D., M.P.A.
Asian Pacific Family Center, Pacific Clinics
Phone: (626) 287-2988