Su Yeong Kim
Kim focuses on how culturally specific factors, such as acculturation and language brokering, influence the development and well-being of children in immigrant families.
Su Yeong Kim, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. She studies the intersection of family and cultural contexts in understanding the development of children of immigrants in the United States, with a focus on children of Chinese and Mexico-origin. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.
She examines how culturally relevant developmental processes (acculturation) and stressors (physiological, culture-specific) directly, indirectly, or interactively show stability, change, or growth to shape parent-child relationships (parenting, tiger parenting, father-child relationships) and adjustment transitions and outcomes (academic achievement, depressive symptoms) among minority adolescents and young adults. She also develops and tests the measurement invariance of culturally relevant measures for use with ethnic minorities. For example, she developed measures of language brokering to capture the subjective experiences of adolescents translating for monolingual, immigrant parents with limited English skills.
Her research has revealed that the commonly held perception of Asian American parents as tiger parents being responsible for producing child prodigies is inaccurate. In fact, her eight year longitudinal study of Chinese American families demonstrate supportive parenting as the most common type of parenting leading to the most optimal outcomes in terms of both academic and socio-emotional adjustment in Chinese American adolescents. Her studies on language brokering among Mexican American adolescents reveals that children experience both a sense of burden and efficacy in translating for their non-English fluent, Spanish-speaking parents, and that their perceptions of the language brokering experience relate directly to their socio-emotional adjustment.