The Influence of Parental Beliefs on the Development of Chinese Adolescents Experiencing Economic Disadvantage: Maternal Control as a Mediator

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Based on the data collected from 275 Chinese families experiencing economic disadvantage in Hong Kong, the influence of parental beliefs (Chinese cultural beliefs about adversity, attribution of children’s success and failure to effort, and expectations of children’s future) and parental control on adolescent development was examined. It was found that paternal expectations of children’s future predicted adolescents’ perceived maternal control and positive youth development. Furthermore, perceived maternal control mediated the effect of parental beliefs on adolescent positive development. This is the first scientific research that clarified the pathway through which parental beliefs influenced adolescent positive development via maternal control in Chinese families experiencing economic disadvantage. The research findings underscore the importance of understanding the triadic interactions among fathers, mothers, and adolescents in families experiencing economic disadvantage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-573
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


  • adolescent
  • parental beliefs
  • parental control
  • positive youth development
  • poverty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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