Parenting variables associated with growth mindset: An examination of three Chinese-heritage samples

Joanna J. Kim, Joey Fung, Qiaobing Wu, Chao Fang, Anna S. Lau

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


An incremental theory of intelligence (TOI), the belief that intelligence is malleable and can be improved through effort, is associated with children's academic achievement, mastery goals, and overall psychological well-being. Although the positive impact of TOI is well established, less is known about socialization factors such as parenting that foster these orientations. We posited that both autonomy support (AS) and psychological control (PC) may promote incremental TOI among Chinese heritage fourth- to fifth-grade children and their mothers where socialization has largely been characterized as low in AS and high in PC. However, we examined the possibility that these associations may differ across contexts within the Chinese Diaspora (Beijing, Hong Kong, and Los Angeles) as child rearing evolves as a function of rapid social change and immigration. A multiple-group structural equation model revealed a positive association between child-report of maternal PC and child incremental TOI across all three samples (βBJ =.37, p <.001; βHK =.17, p <.05; βLA =.26, p <.01) and a positive association between child-report of maternal AS and incremental TOI in Hong Kong only (βHK =.41, p <.001). Consistent with past studies, children's perceptions of parenting were more proximal to child beliefs than mothers' reports of their own behaviors. These results are discussed in connection with the literature on the dynamic role of culture in shaping parenting and associated developmental outcomes in Asian and Asian American contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-125
Number of pages11
JournalAsian American Journal of Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • autonomy support
  • Chinese parenting
  • psychological control
  • theories of intelligence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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