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01-08-2010 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 8/2010

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 8/2010

Parental Autonomy-Support, Intrinsic Life Goals, and Well-Being Among Adolescents in China and North America

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 8/2010
Auteurs:
Natasha Lekes, Isabelle Gingras, Frederick L. Philippe, Richard Koestner, Jianqun Fang

Abstract

Self-determination theory proposes that prioritizing intrinsic life goals, such as community involvement, is related to well-being, whereas focusing on extrinsic life goals, such as financial success, is associated with lower well-being and that parenting influences the type of life goals that youth adopt. In a sample of 515 Chinese (56% female, mean age = 15.50) and 567 North American (52% male, mean age = 14.17) adolescents, a model of the relationships between parenting, life goals, and well-being was investigated and confirmed for intrinsic life goals. Across societies, autonomy-supportive parenting was associated with the endorsement of intrinsic life goals, which in turn was associated with well-being. Intrinsic life goals partially mediated the relationship between parental autonomy-support and well-being. These findings suggest that, cross-culturally, prioritizing intrinsic life goals is related to increased well-being among adolescents and that parents could encourage intrinsic life goals by being supportive of their children’s autonomy.

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