Maternal Beliefs, Adolescent Perceived Maternal Control and Psychological Competence in Poor Chinese Female-Headed Divorced Families

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Based on the data of 337 female-headed divorced families living in poverty in Hong Kong, the relationships among maternal beliefs (Chinese cultural beliefs of familism, maternal expectations of children’s future, maternal attribute of children’s achievement to effort), adolescents’ perceived maternal control and adolescent psychological competence (indexed by beliefs in the future, clear and positive identity, and resilience) were examined. Results indicated that adolescents’ perceived maternal control mediated the influence between maternal beliefs and adolescent psychological competence in poor female-headed divorced families in Hong Kong. With the paucity of research on family beliefs and indigenous parenting practice, the present study underscores the importance of maternal beliefs and maternal control on nurturing adolescent psychological competence in Chinese divorced families facing adversity, which contributes to the development of Chinese familial model of resilience. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1815-1828
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016


  • Adolescent development
  • Chinese
  • Divorced families
  • Parental beliefs
  • Parental control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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