The Impact of Housing Policies on Filipino Immigrant Girls in Hawaii

An official website of the United States government,, is a sign that it is an official source. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you are on a federal government site. Approximately 12% of the population of the United States today is foreign-born (Schmidley, 200). Children of immigrants face greater obstacles compared to children in the U.

S., such as being more likely to be poor, living in crowded housing, feeling pressure from their peers to adopt risky behaviors, and receiving less support from parents that could help them withstand those pressures (Yu, Huang, Schwalberg, Overpeck, & Kogan, 200). Despite these challenges, children from immigrant families, and girls in particular, are more family-oriented and show higher academic achievement than children in the U. S.The Filipino population in the U. S.

has grown to more than 2 million, and more than 170,000 (not including mixed-race people) live in Hawaii (Okamura, 26%, Agbayani, 199). Filipinos are one of the most economically disadvantaged groups in Hawaii, representing the highest percentage of workers employed in the lowest occupations in Hawaii (Abgayani-Siewert, 26% Jones, 1997; Okamura, 26% Agbayani, 199). However, popular opinion of Filipinos and other Asian-Americans as model minorities may give rise to the assumption that this group has no problems and is unlikely to need services. Like other recent studies on Filipino youth in Hawaii (Cunanan, Guerrero, 26% Minamoto, 200), this article questions that assumption by highlighting the challenges faced by Filipino immigrant girls in Hawaii. The extended family is the basic unit of the Filipino community (Ponce, 1980), and young Filipinos place greater importance on the family (Fuligni, 200).

These young people, especially Filipino girls, are often very dedicated to family responsibilities such as caring for siblings and household chores which are often assumed to be a child duty because of the obligation to pay for their parents' sacrifices. This sense of family obligation also extends to school where these children see academic success as a form of reward for parental sacrifices. For example, indebtedness and responsibility were cited as the two main motivations for students of Asian and Latin American origin to perform well academically (Fuligni, 200). The present study sought to examine the experiences of a sample of Filipino adolescents. In particular, we wanted to explore the interactions of girls in two different contexts: their homes and their schools.

Through an exploration of the lives of these girls we hoped to illuminate the inherent limitations of the model minority stereotype for these Filipino adolescent girls. The analyses of the current study used an informed process (that is,. The focus group interviews were transcribed and subsequently we carried out an inductive analysis of the content of the text in search of patterns and themes. Initially two researchers coded all the transcripts separately identifying concepts properties and dimensions as topics emerged in the interviews (Patton 200). Upon completion the researchers cross-referenced all of the coded segments and identified common themes observed during individual coding. The results of this consensus coding are presented below.

When talking about relationships with their fathers most girls reported having better relationships with their mothers than with their fathers. They described their mothers as supportive kind hardworking and easy to deal with. On the contrary girls described their parents as workers but also as bad strict and with bad habits such as drinking gambling and having a “third person” (an extramarital relationship). Many were reluctant to describe their parents negatively and some later rated what they said as something positive (for example,.

The girls described their fathers as less involved in their lives than their mothers who had minimal communication with them and who only talked to them about “superficial” things such as television shows sports or school. While most girls weren't bothered by the lack of closeness with their parents several expressed a desire for their parents to care more for them. This parental distance also affected outreach as girls were less comfortable talking to their parents about sensitive topics such as dating in part because of fear of an angry response. When girls needed to disclose sensitive information to their fathers they often used their mothers as intermediaries. Participants considered that education was a means to achieve a good future and excelling in school and continuing their education were very important goals. All students aspired to go to university and saw education as the key to avoiding low-level jobs.

Their high aspirations were also attributed in part to indebtedness to their parents. Girls observed that their parents emphasized education and constantly told their daughters to excel and finish school. Parents often discouraged or even forbade their daughters from dating telling them to “finish their studies first” before getting a boyfriend. Girls described feeling compelled to meet their parents' academic expectations as a way of recognizing their parents' efforts to seek better opportunities in the United States. They also felt that they should finish school because often their parents hadn't.The current study highlighted the unique experiences of children of Filipino immigrants within their families and schools.

During focus groups adolescent girls frequently spoke of the sacrifices their parents made by leaving their “comfortable and family life” in the Philippines to seek opportunities for their children in Hawaii. The girls in this study tried to interact by taking on household responsibilities and getting jobs to help their families financially. Girls also spoke of focusing on academic performance out of a sense of obligation to their families. This is in line with Fuligni's statement (200) that Asian Americans have higher educational aspirations than other ethnic groups due largely to parental expectations. The findings from this study suggest that housing policies have had a significant impact on Filipino immigrants living in Hawaii. The results show that Filipino immigrant girls face unique challenges when it comes to family relationships due largely to cultural expectations around indebtedness and responsibility towards parents.

These expectations lead many young women to prioritize academic success over other activities such as dating or socializing with friends. In addition these findings suggest that housing policies have had an impact on how Filipino immigrant families interact with each other within both home and school contexts. The results indicate that housing policies have had an effect on how Filipino immigrant families interact with each other within both home and school contexts. Overall this study provides insight into how housing policies have impacted Filipino immigrant families living in Hawaii by highlighting how cultural expectations around indebtedness have shaped family dynamics among Filipino immigrant girls living there.