Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name





Chinese Canadian, coping, culture, emerging adults, intergenerational conflict, self-construal


Ben C.H. Kuo




This study examined coping with intergenerational conflict in Chinese Canadian emerging adults who were permanent residents or citizens of Canada. A mixed-methods design was used; 218 participants completed online questionnaires and 10 participants completed 50-minute individual interviews. In line with previous research, intergenerational conflict was negatively associated with psychological, physical, and relational well-being in Chinese Canadian emerging adults. Engagement coping and private emotional outlets mediated the relation between intergenerational conflict and well-being. Lower intergenerational conflict severity was related to more engagement coping, which was associated with greater well-being. Conversely, higher intergenerational conflict was associated with more usage of private emotional outlets (e.g., professional help or anonymous online support), which was related to poorer well-being. While greater intergenerational conflict was related to more avoidance coping, there were no associations with well-being. Collective coping, surprisingly, was unrelated to intergenerational conflict or well-being. While collective and avoidance coping were associated with interdependent self-construals, engagement coping was associated with a combination of independent and interdependent self-construals. Private emotional outlets, on the other hand, were primarily associated with the severity of intergenerational conflict. Qualitative results provided a more nuanced view of the coping process, with contextual influences being spontaneously mentioned by most participants. Furthermore, parents’ reactions appear to play a role in participants’ choice of coping strategies. Similarly, participants’ acceptance or rejection of traditional Chinese values influenced the coping process. Overall, the results highlight the prominent yet nuanced role of culture in the coping process in Chinese Canadian emerging adults responding to intergenerational conflict. Implications for research and intervention are discussed.