The Impact of Family Obligation on the Daily Activities and Psychological Well-Being of Chinese American Adolescents


  • Andrew J. Fuligni,

  • Tiffany Yip,

  • Vivian Tseng


A daily diary method was employed to examine the extent to which Chinese adolescents in the United States assist and spend time with their families, and the implications of such behaviors for their involvement in other activities and psychological well-being. Adolescents (N= 140) completed checklists in which they reported their activities and psychological well-being every day for a period of 2 weeks. Adolescents showed a greater propensity to balance family obligations with their academic demands than with their social life with peers on a daily basis. Girls experienced slightly more daily conflict between activities than boys. Neither the extent of involvement in family obligations nor the balancing of family obligations with other activities were associated with psychological distress among adolescents. These findings demonstrate the complex manner in which adolescents from immigrant families attempt to combine their cultural traditions with selected aspects of American society on a daily basis. In contrast to the expectations of some observers, the youths in this study appeared to accomplish such an integration with little cost to their psychological well-being.