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19-10-2019 | Original Paper | Uitgave 5/2020

Journal of Child and Family Studies 5/2020

Double-Edged Effect of Coparenting on Chinese Adolescents’ Emotional Instability: An Inconsistent Mediation Model

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 5/2020
Auteurs:
Shengqi Zou, Xinchun Wu, Binbin Huang, Chang Liu
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Abstract

Objectives

The current study aimed to examine the association between coparenting and adolescent emotional instability and to analyze the potential mediating effect of parent–child relationship quality between them in Chinese families.

Methods

A convenient sample of 3045 adolescents from China was selected to fill out questionnaires regarding their emotional instability and demographic variables, parental coparenting behavior, and parent–child relationship quality. Structural equation modeling was used to test the total and mediating effect models.

Results

Supportive and undermining coparenting were significantly associated with adolescent emotional instability (βSC = −0.13, βUC = 0.21, p < 0.001), and the total effect of undermining coparenting on adolescent emotional instability was stronger than that of supportive coparenting (Wald [χ2] = 4.37, p < 0.05). Mediation model analysis revealed that undermining coparenting was associated with a poor quality of parent–child relationship, which ultimately predicted a high level of emotional instability (ab/c = 0.47). By contrast, supportive coparenting was associated with a high parent–child relationship quality, which ultimately predicted a low level of emotional instability (|ab/c’| = 1.98). However, the direct effect of supportive coparenting was positively related to adolescent emotional instability (β = 0.14, p < 0.05).

Conclusions

Findings implied that undermining coparenting was a family risk factor for adolescent emotional instability, whereas supportive coparenting exhibited a double-edged (i.e., positive and negative) effect on adolescent emotional instability.

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