The relations of migrant status and parenting to Chinese adolescents' adjustment

Guangzhen Zhang, Nancy Eisenberg, Zongbao Liang, Yi Li, Huihua Deng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The main goals of the present study were (a) to compare Chinese migrant and nonmigrant adolescents on mean levels of parenting, positive adjustment, and academic functioning, and to assess whether socioeconomic status (SES) accounted for any obtained differences, (b) to examine whether the relations of SES and migrant status to youths' positive adjustment were mediated by quality of parenting, and (c) to examine relations of parenting to positive adjustment across time. Three months after adolescents (254 boys and 216 girls; 281 migrant and 189 nonmigrant adolescents; M age = 12.95 years, SD = 0.91 at the first wave) entered middle school (T1), and again one (T2) and two years later (T3), adolescents, parents, and/or teachers reported on parenting, and adolescents' positive psychological adjustment and school-related social competence, and adolescents' academic records were obtained from schools. Migrant parents were lower than nonmigrant parents on education and positive parenting (T1, T2, and T3). Migrant adolescents were lower than nonmigrant adolescents on self-reported self-esteem and life satisfaction, academic achievement (T1, T2, and T3) and teacher-reported school-related social competence (T3); they did not differ on most variables when parents' education was controlled. When taking into account the stability of parenting and adjustment (and including T1 SES and migrant status as predictors of T2 variables), positive parenting predicted school-related social competence and academic achievement across time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-328
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • academic achievement
  • migrant adolescents
  • parenting
  • psychological adjustment
  • social competence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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