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Science: ‘Tiger Parenting Tough on Kids’

Well, duh. That’s the point, no? Live Science:

“Tiger mom” and Yale professor Amy Chua caused an uproar last year with a Wall Street Journal article about the superiority of her strict, Chinese-style version of parenting. Now, research suggests that critics of the piece may have had a point: High-achieving Chinese-American children do, in fact, struggle more with depression, stress and low self-esteem than their equally high-achieving European-American counterparts, and the reason involves parenting style.

Chua’s piece, excerpted from her book “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” (Penguin Press, 2011), extolled the virtues of strictness, blunt criticism and an unyielding insistence on academic perfection. In the essay, she tells the story of making her 7-year-old daughter sit at the piano without food or bathroom breaks until she mastered a difficult piece.

Strict parenting and stellar academic achievement are common in Chinese immigrant families, according to Desiree Baolian Qin, a professor in the department of human development and family studies at Michigan State University. But unfortunately, so are depression, stress and other so-called “internalizing” disorders.

“If you’re doing well, you should be feeling good,” Qin told LiveScience. “But what I’ve found persistently in my research is that that’s not the case.”

In a new study to be published in the Journal of Adolescence, Qin compared 295 Chinese-American ninth graders with 192 European-American ninth-graders at the same highly competitive U.S. school. This high school, in a northeastern U.S. state, accepts only the top 5 percent of applicants by test scores. Thus, all the children in the study were academic all-stars.

The rest here.


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