Parent-child discrepancies in perceived parent-child communication and depressive symptoms in early adolescents in China

Qiongwen Zhang, Daniel T.L. Shek, Yangu Pan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Although recent studies demonstrated that parent-child discrepancies in the perceived family processes were associated with children’s developmental outcomes, few studies have ad-dressed this issue in different types of families in mainland China. The present study investigated that how discrepancies in parents’ and adolescents’ perceptions of parent-adolescent communication were associated with early adolescent depressive symptoms in a nationally representative sample (N = 15,377) with 7010 father-adolescent dyads (adolescents: Mage = 14.24 years, SD = 1.25 years; 5960 adolescents from two-parent families, 443 adolescents from single-father families) and 8367 mother-adolescent dyads (adolescents: Mage = 14.02 years, SD = 1.18 years; 6670 adolescents from two-parent families, 1362 adolescents from single-mother families) in China. Adolescent respond-ents completed a measure of depressive symptoms and all informants reported on the perceived levels of parent–adolescent communication. Results indicated that adolescents reported parent-child communication more negatively than did their parents. Father-adolescent discrepancies were also greater in intact families than non-intact families. Polynomial regression analyses indicated that while there was a significant interactive effect of father-reported and adolescent-reported father-adolescent communication in Chinese two-parent families, no significant interaction was found for mother-adolescent dyad. Besides, adolescent-reported mother-child communication interacted with mother-reported communication in Chinese single-mother families only. The findings clarify parent-adolescent discrepancies in parent-child communication in different types of families in China and they have theoretical and practical implications on the role of discrepancies in parents and adolescent children on perceived parent–adolescent communication in early adolescent depressive symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12041
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021


  • Chinese
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Early adolescence
  • Parent-child communication
  • Parent–child discrepancies
  • Single-parent families
  • Two-parent families

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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