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20-09-2020 | Original Paper | Uitgave 11/2020

Journal of Child and Family Studies 11/2020

Social Capital, Self-Efficacy, and Healthy Identity Development among Chinese Adolescents with and without Economic Disadvantages

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 11/2020
Auteurs:
Ying Liu, Steven Sek-yum Ngai
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Abstract

This study analyzed the mediating role of self-efficacy in the relationship between social capital and healthy identity development. In addition, it examined differences between adolescents from families with and without economic disadvantages regarding the role of family, school and peer social capital, and self-efficacy on identity development. A total of 571 students in grades 10 through 12 from 22 high schools whose families faced economic difficulties and 1047 school peers whose families were without economic difficulties anonymously completed a series of measures about family, school and peer social capital, self-efficacy, and healthy identity development. Our data suggested that family, school, and peer social capital were simultaneously positively associated with healthy identity development for youth with family economic difficulties; while for youth without family economic difficulties, only school social capital had a direct effect on adolescents’ healthy identity development. Furthermore, self-efficacy mediated family and school social capital for both groups of young people. Findings suggest the importance of investing in self-efficacy and social capital to promote healthy identities in youth development. In addition, the presented differences in the mechanism for impoverished and non-impoverished groups have implications for service design for different groups of young people. This study underscores the importance of considering both ecological and internal resources when identifying protective factors for youth development and the need to compare the mechanisms among youth from families with and without economic difficulties. It also suggests a few new avenues for future research.

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