Gender Differences In Parenting, Adolescent Functioning, and The Relation Between Parenting and Adolescent Functioning In Urban Mainland Chinese Families
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ABSTRACT Adolescents living in Mainland China generally experience high levels of demands from their parents to perform well in school, and this may negatively impact Chinese adolescents' psychological functioning (Siu & Watkins, 1997). Secondary data from 997 urban Mainland Chinese high school students from four Beijing schools were used to examine relations of parental warmth and parental control with adolescent academic achievement, depression, and anxiety. The present study also examined whether adolescent functioning and associations between parental behaviors and adolescent functioning differed by gender of the parent and child. Independent t-tests, correlations, and multiple regression analyses found no significant gender differences in adolescent academic achievement, depression, and anxiety. Overall, father's and mother's warmth were positively associated with academic achievement and negatively associated with depression and anxiety, whereas parental control was negatively associated with academic achievement and positively associated with depression and anxiety. Paternal and maternal warmth moderated the association between paternal and maternal control and boys' and girls' depression and anxiety. There were minimal gender differences in the associations between parental behaviors and adolescent functioning. Only maternal and paternal pressure had a stronger association with boys' depression than with girls' depression. Results suggest the importance of using warmth in the parent-child dyad, especially regarding academic expectations for boys, and not basing behaviors on preconceived notions of gender roles.