Cultural Variations in Parenting and Implications for the Counseling Professional (Clinical Report)

Culture can be defined in words that we all understand, and yet can be the source of many misunderstandings. Counselors working in the pluralistic society of today are faced with the challenge of understanding the impact of culture on the counseling process. Counselors have an ethical obligation to know, understand, and include their client’s cultural background in order to provide an appropriate counseling experience (Dana, 1998; Webb, 2001). This article will focus on different cultural approaches to parenting and the implications for the field of counseling. The cultures that will be compared include African American, Asian, Hispanic, and European American or Caucasian. Much research has been done on this topic; however, it is not without controversy or contradictions. Some of the issues that contribute to the controversy include the impact of acculturation on minority populations, Western or European American influence in determining what is appropriate parenting often fails to account for socio-economic differences in sample populations (Jambunathan, Burts, & Pierce, 2000; Chao, 1994; Stewart, Bond, Kennard, Ho & Zaman, 2002; Ferrari, 2002).

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