The Moderating Effects of Gratitude on the Association Between Perceived Parenting Styles and Suicidal Ideation

Hay Ming Lo, Sylvia Y.C.L. Kwok, Jerf W.K. Yeung, Andrew Y.T. Low, Cherry H.L. Tam

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Suicidal ideation is defined as the thoughts about engaging in suicidal-related behaviors. Very few studies have been conducted on children’s suicidal ideation as there is a biased perception that suicidal behavior under the age of 12 is scarce. However, suicide is the leading cause of death among young children. Child suicidal ideation is predictive of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts in adulthood. Association between certain parenting styles and suicidal ideation have been found in empirical studies. However, little is known about the role of parenting and suicidal ideation in Chinese young children. We examined whether gratitude can reduce the risk of suicide by moderating the association between parenting styles and child suicidal ideation. We recruited 447 Chinese children (53.3% female; mean age = 10.06, SD = 1.76) to participate in a survey. Perceived parenting style (warmth/accepting, dominating, and autonomy granting), gratitude, and suicidal ideation were assessed using self-reported measures. We found that all three perceived parental styles were significantly associated with child suicidal ideation. Further, gratitude was found to have a significant moderating effect on suicidal ideation, across the analysis of the three perceived parenting styles. This suggests that gratitude may be adopted in preventive and clinical interventions so that children at risk can benefit from reducing the negative effects of ineffective parenting styles and suicidal ideation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1671-1680
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017


  • Children
  • Gratitude
  • Parenting styles
  • Suicidal ideation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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