Edith Cowan University
Current census data reports that more than a quarter of Australia’s population is from overseas (Australian Bureau of Statistics [ABS], 2007). With respect to the Vietnamese population, the 2006 Census has reported over 150 thousand Vietnamese-born people in Australia (ABS, 2007). While there has been a steady rise in the immigrant Vietnamese population, few studies have examined this population and this is extended to the parenting and acculturation literature (Nguyen & Cheung, 2009). The research literature has also tended to lump together distinct ethnic groups that make up the “Asian” designation, thus obscuring the inter-cultural diversity of research (Liu, Pope-Davis, Nevvit & Topotek, 1999). In addition, existing research on immigrant Asians parents have focused heavily on quantifying Baumrind’s (1971) parenting styles on various outcomes (e.g., academic, social adjustment), and mixed results have been presented, in application to Asian populations. Few studies have employed qualitative methods and currently, no such study exists for the immigrant Vietnamese population. Through the use of Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis, the present study attempted to address this gap in the literature by providing an idiographic perspective on the parenting experiences of Vietnamese Australians. Seven mothers and two fathers were interviewed through a semi structured format. Resultant themes revealed the significance of character development, a balanced approach and education. Implications for practice and suggestions for future research are discussed.