Transnationalism, Parenting, And Child Disciplinary Practices Of African Immigrants In Alberta, Canada.
Alaazi, Dominic A. Salami, Bukola. Yohani, Sophie. Vallianatos, Helen. Okeke-Ihejirika, Philomina. Nsaliwa, Christina.
Published: December 2018
Child Abuse and Neglect
Vol. 86 , p. 147-157
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Child discipline remains a topic of public health interest across the globe. Despite this enduring interest, very little is known about the child disciplinary practices of African immigrants in Canada. This paper explores the disciplinary practices of African immigrant parents in Alberta, a Canadian province with a recent surge in the population of African immigrants. Employing a critical ethnographic methodology, informed by transnational theory, we collected data through in-depth qualitative interviews with a purposive sample of African community leaders (n = 14), African immigrant parents (n = 32), policymakers (n = 2), and health and immigrant settlement workers (n = 10). As members of the African immigrant community, we were deeply immersed in the research settings, which afforded us the opportunity to collect pertinent observational data in the form of reflexive notes. Thematic analysis of the data revealed child disciplinary approaches that incorporate Canadian and African parenting practices, as well as practices that appear somewhat unique to this demographic. We found that African immigrant parents used corporal discipline, persuasive discipline, and a hybrid of the two, as well as emerging practices involving transnational fostering and emotional isolation of children who persistently misbehaved. These practices, in their totality, appeared to be influenced by the transnational experiences of parents and precepts that are traceable to Canada’s legal and educational systems. We present theoretical, policy, and service implications of our findings, including a recommendation to incorporate sociocultural dimensions of child discipline into Canadian child welfare policies and practices. (Author abstract)
Alberta; Africa; discipline; child rearing; children of immigrants; parental attitudes