This study explores the parent-child relationship between second generation Cambodian Americans (SGCA) and their first generation parents, as reported by SGCA. Specifically this study examined the effects of parental trauma from the Khmer Rouge (Cambodian genocide), on SGCA in relation to SGCA's mental health status, parent-child communication, cohesion, flexibility, and academic achievements. This study was conceptualized through the effects of intergenerational trauma. A quantitative approach was used to analyze the data. Instruments used to measure the variables in the research included Harvard Trauma Questionnaire Revised Cambodian Version (HTQ), Brief Symptom Inventory-18 (BSI-18), Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scales (FACES-IV), and Grade Point Average (GPA). One hundred seventy-two SGCA college students from the Khmer Student Coalition (KSC) in California were selected between the ages of 18 and 28 completed all the self-report questionnaires. Based on Path analysis, this study found that trauma and anxiety were related; they both affected family dynamics, which affected communication and communication affected GPA. The model demonstrated a good fit of p-value > .05, CFI = 0.994, GFI = 0.984, and RMSEA = 0.051. This model indicates that intergenerational trauma in Cambodian young adults will negatively affect their GPA, but certain family dynamics can buffer against this effect such as family communication, flexibility, and cohesion. Specially, this study contributes new knowledge to the field of family science as outcomes of this study show the importance of family dynamics when working with Cambodian families on trauma and academic achievement as well as highlighting the significance of a relational approach to working with these families.
Marriage and Family Therapy
Counseling and Family Sciences
School of Behavioral Health
Fox, Curtis A.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Psychic trauma - Family Relationships; Family Relations; Immigrants - Family Relationships; Parent and Child; Children of Immigrants; Cambodian Americans;
Subject - Local
Parent-Child Relationships, Parental Trauma, Genocide, Harvard Trauma Questionnaire, Family dynamics
Loma Linda University Libraries
This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.
Choau, Sophorn Theam, "Effects of Parental Trauma Experience on Second Generation Cambodian Americans" (2013). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. Paper 117.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses & Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives