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29-03-2017 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 5/2017

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 5/2017

Reconsidering Parenting in Chinese Culture: Subtypes, Stability, and Change of Maternal Parenting Style During Early Adolescence

Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 5/2017
Wenxin Zhang, Xing Wei, Linqin Ji, Liang Chen, Kirby Deater-Deckard


Parenting in Chinese culture has been a central topic and there have been debate on whether western-derived parenting style is applicable to Chinese cultures in terms of both behavioral profiles and their relationships with child and adolescent adjustment. This study identified the subtypes of Chinese maternal parenting style and examined their stability and changes over the transition to early adolescence. In an urban Chinese sample (N = 2173, 48% girls), four waves of longitudinal data were collected when the adolescents were in the fifth (M = 11.27 years), sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. Latent profile analysis identified four subtypes of parenting style: authoritative, authoritarian, average-level undifferentiated, and strict-affectionate. Adolescents of authoritative mothers exhibited the best overall adjustment, while adolescents of authoritarian mothers showed the worst adjustment. Adolescents of strict-affectionate mothers generally adjusted as well as those of authoritative mothers, except they showed lower academic achievement. The strict-affectionate parenting represented a culture-specific subtype of parenting style in Chinese culture. Latent transition analysis revealed high stability of parenting styles during early adolescence, but transitions between subtypes were also evident. These findings highlight the importance of revisiting Chinese parenting and examining the developmental course of parenting style.

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