Current Research

The single most consistent predictor of healthy adolescent development is the quality of their relationships with their parents. How parents choose to parent affects their relationship with their teens and their effectiveness as a parent. Parents are tasked with teaching children the values and rules necessary to function effectively in their local communities, and the broader society. Therefore, it is imperative to understand which types of parenting behaviors promote positive Muslim youth development, so that they are able to become successful and productive adults.

Parenting Styles of American-Muslim Mothers and its Influence on Adolescents’ Adjustment Outcomes

The Family and Youth Institute Researchers: Madiha Tahseen, PhD

parenting-research-sectionWhile parenting research encourages parents to foster autonomy and independence in their adolescents, the bulk of this research has been conducted within individual-oriented groups and cultures, in Western societies such as America. It is unclear if such practices are effective in the same way for adolescents from collectivist, group-oriented cultures, common in many Muslim societies. Parenting is even more dynamic and complicated for American Muslim parents and their children who may identify with multiple cultures (both individual and group-oriented) resulting in a cultural mixing of their parenting repertoire.  The current project aims to examine the parenting styles of American Muslim mothers and understand how these styles are related to adolescents’ well-being in order to promote more effective parenting skills.

Collaborators in this area of study include Charissa S.L. Cheah, Ph.D. (University of Maryland, Baltimore County).

  • Tahseen, M., & Cheah, C.S.L. (2015, March). A multidimensional examination of collective identity, parenting and psychological well-being among Muslim-American adolescents. Paper symposium presented to the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Philadelphia, P.A.

A Structural Model of Racial Discrimination, Acculturative Stress, and Cultural Resources Among Arab American Adolescents 

The Family and Youth Institute Researchers: Sawssan Ahmed, PhD

Despite evidence towards the risk for discrimination and acculturative stress that Arab American adolescents may arabface, the link between socio-cultural adversities and psychological well-being in this population has not been established. This study examined the role of socio-cultural adversities (discrimination and acculturative stress) and cultural resources (ethnic identity, religious support, and religious coping) in terms of their direct impact on psychological distress. Understanding the manner in which socio-cultural adversities and resources are linked to psychological distress can inform the development of culturally appropriate interventions that can effectively mitigate mental health concerns for understudied and vulnerable populations.

Collaborators in this area of study include Maryam Kia-Keating, PhD (University of California, Santa Barbara) and Katherine H. Tsai, PhD (University of California, Los Angeles). 


List of Publications on Parenting

Peer-Reviewed Journals

Ahmed, S., Kia-Keating, M. and Tsai, K. H. (2011). A structural model of racial discrimination, acculturative stress, and cultural resources among Arab American adolescents. American Journal of Community Psychology, 48(3-4):181-92.