Buyun Jiang

PLE III 2019

I am currently conducting research partnering with my school to investigate the effect of disparity between the parents’ and the parachute kids’ expectations of autonomy on their communication experience.

Parachute kids refer to students who leave their home country at a young age often for educational purposes and grow up unattended by their parents. This research focuses on Chinese parachute kids’ communication with their parents, and whether different expectations of how much autonomy the minor should have are directly related to a negative communication experience.

I am motivated to do this research because of my personal experience: I came to Canada at the age of 14 without the accompany of my parents. Being a parachute kid, I experienced great difficulties holding a normal conversation with my parents without arguing during my first year studying abroad. This problem gradually resolved as I continued my study in Canada. However, looking back, I realize that many of my friends in school struggle with a similar problem communicating with their parents who stay in a different culture.

After researching online, I found reports from the New York Times and Los Angeles focusing on the issue of parachute kids, featuring interviews that confirm my assumption that growing up unattended by parents sometimes cause problems among young international students, many of which are from mainland China. According to SEVIS, up until March, 2019, there are 27,670 Chinese students studying in American secondary schools. Thus I am determined to find whether having a different expectation of autonomy from their parents’ view, something that I struggled a lot when I was in Grade 9, is applicable to other parachute kids’ conflict with their parents. And if so, what are some potential solutions that peers, schools, and parents can do to help the situation.

I started this research idea in early May and will officially take action in June. I have finished reviewing journals as the first step and interviewing four Chinese students of different backgrounds to confirm my research direction. I am currently in the phase of collecting surveys for future data analysis to back up my report for school.

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