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Role of Filial Responsibility in the Post-War Adjustment of Bosnian Young Adolescents

An increasing number of researchers have been investigating the developmental ramifications of children’s involvement in the caregiving system of their families (e.g., Chase, 1999; Fuligni, Tseng, & Lam, 1999; Hetherington, 1999; Jurkovic, 1997; Jurkovic, Kuperminc, & Casey, 2004; see also Kerig, this volume). Both their espoused obligations toward familial responsibilities and their actual caregiving behaviors have been examined. The latter include such instrumental tasks as physically maintaining the household, caring for siblings, cooking, and earning income for the family. Immigrant and refugee children often also translate for parents serving as “culture” or “language brokers” (Buriel, Perez, DeMent, Chavez, & Moran, 1998). In the emotional realm, children may also support a distressed parent, mediate family conflict, and generally attend to the psychological welfare of the family (e.g., Jurkovic, 1997; Jurkovic et al., 2004).