Challenges and strengths of Muslim parents raising their children in the United States

Date
12/10/2018
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Abstract

CHALLENGES AND STRENGTHS OF MUSLIM PARENTS RAISING THEIR CHILDREN IN THE UNITED STATES
The purpose of this qualitative study was to discover the challenges and strengths of Muslim parents living in the United States, while raising their children to respect Islamic teachings and values. The study utilized a phenomenological approach to learn about the lived experiences of Muslim parents. Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) ecological systems theory was applied as a guiding theory to learn about these experiences. The participants included 15 Muslim parents, who currently reside in North Central Texas. The participants were immigrants or individuals who have traveled to the United States for study or work from a predominately Islamic country. They have been living in the United States for at least two years. The study participants also had a child between the ages of 5 and 17. In addition, the participants of this study were able to communicate in English. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the 15 participants who met the research criteria. These interviews were then transcribed and read multiple times by the researcher. They were then coded to identify emerging themes. The researcher, her faculty advisor, and a research assistant participated in coding and identifying themes. The five themes that emerged were Lack of recognition and understanding of Islam; Greater responsibility to teach Islam; Difficulty balancing American and Islamic values; Underlying concerns and anxiety, and Positive experiences as strengths. The results were compared with previous studies and conclusions were drawn and implications discussed. In addition, limitations and recommendations for future research are discussed.

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Keywords
Islam, Muslim, Muslim parents, parents, children, Muslim children in the U.S.
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