Autonomy-Granting Parenting and Child Depression: the Moderating Roles of Hope and Life Satisfaction
Depression is a common mental health problem among children, and autonomy-granting parenting was found to be an important predictor of child depression. Besides, important psychological strengths such as hope and life satisfaction were suggested to be protective factors for children’s development of depression. However, few studies explored the role of autonomy-granting parenting on child depression in Chinese families and the protective roles of hope and life satisfaction on the relationship. The present study examined the association between autonomy-granting parenting and children’s depression, and the moderating effects of hope and life satisfaction on the relationship among Chinese children in Hong Kong. Participants were 439 children in primary school Grade 4 to 6 in Hong Kong based on convenience sampling. A cross-sectional survey was conducted to assess the relationship among hope, life satisfaction, autonomy-granting parenting and children’s depression. Results showed that hope, life satisfaction and autonomy-granting parenting were all significantly and negatively correlated with depression. The moderation analysis showed that both life satisfaction and hope moderated the relationship between autonomy-granting parenting and children’s depression. The current findings firstly provide evidence for the negative association between autonomy-granting parenting and child depression in Chinese context. It also showed that hope and life satisfaction were two important protective factors for children’s development of depressive symptoms under the lower autonomy-granting parenting.
KeywordsAutonomy-granting parenting Child depression Hope Life satisfaction Hong Kong
W.Y.C. wrote the introduction, results and discussion of the manuscript and conducted the revision based on reviewer’s comments. S.Y.C.L.K. designed and executed the study and helped with the revision of the manuscript. M.G. conducted the data analyses.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interests
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of City University of Hong Kong and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all participants included in the study.
- Centre for Health Education and Health Promotion of The Chinese University of Hong Kong. (2002). Health Crisis of Our New Generation: Surveillance on Youth Health Risk Behaviors. Hong Kong: The Chinese University of Hong Kong.Google Scholar
- Centre for Health Protection of Hong Kong SAR. (2012). Depression: Beyond Feeling Blue. Non-Communicable Disease Watch, 5, 1–7.Google Scholar
- Chao, R. K., & Sue, S. (1996). Chinese parental influence and their children’s school success: a paradox in the literature on parenting styles. In S. Lau. (Ed.), Growing up the Chinese way: Chinese child and adolescent development (pp. 93–120). Hong Kong: Chinese University Press.Google Scholar
- Cheavens, J. (2000). Hope and depression: Light through the shadows. In C. R. Snyder (Ed.), Handbook of hope: Theory, Measures, and Applications (pp. 321–340). San Diego, Calif.: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Costello, E. J., Erkanli, A. SpringerAmpamp; Angold, A. (2006). Is there an epidemic of child or adolescent depression? Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 47, 1263–1271.Google Scholar
- Crockett, L., Veed, G. J., & Russell, S. T. (2010). Do measures of parenting have the same meaning for European, Chinese, and Filipino American adolescents? Tests of measurement equivalence. In S. T. Russell, L. J. Crockett & R. K. Chao. (Eds.), Asian American parenting and parent-adolescent relationships (pp. 17–35). New York, NY: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2002). Handbook of self-determination research. Rochester, NY: University Rochester Press.Google Scholar
- Department of Health of Hong Kong SAR. (2009). Child Health Survey 2005/2006. Hong Kong: Department of Health of Hong Kong SAR.Google Scholar
- Harter, S. (1985). The Self-Perception Profile for Children: Revision of the Perceived Competence Scale for Children. Denver, CO: University of Denver.Google Scholar
- Ho, D. Y. F. (1994). Filial piety, authoritarian moralism, and cognitive conservatism in Chinese societies. Genetic, Social and General Psychology Monographs, 120, 349–365.Google Scholar
- Huebner, E. S., Suldo, S. M., & Valois, R. F. (2005). Children’s life satisfaction. In K. A. Moore, & L. H., Lippman, (Eds.), What do children need to flourish? Conceptualizing and measuring indicators of positive development (pp. 41–60). Boston, MA: Springer.Google Scholar
- Jacobvitz, D., Hazen, N., Curran, M., & Hitchens, K. (2004). Observations of early triadic family interaction: boundary disturbances in the family predict symptoms of depression, anxiety, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in middle childhood. Development and Psychopathology, 16, 577–592.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Kurian, G. (1995). Hong Kong families: at the crossroads of modernism and traditionalism. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 26, 83–99.Google Scholar
- Laptook, R. S. (2009). Differentiation between low positive affectivity and behavioral inhibition in preschool-age children: An examination across domains of temperament, social behavior, parenting, and psychological symptomatology (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Database. (3401711).Google Scholar
- Matte-Gagne, C., Harvey, B., Stack, D. M., & Serbin, L. A. (2015). Contextual specificity in the relationship between maternal autonomy support and children’s socioemotional development: a longitudinal study from preschool to preadolescence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 44, 1528–1541.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Snyder, C. R. (1994). The psychology of hope: You can get there from here. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
- Soenens, B., Deci, E. L., & Vansteenkiste, M. (2017). How parents contribute to children’s psychological health: The critical role of psychological need support. In M. Wehmeyer, K. Shogren, T. Little & S. Lopez. (Eds.), Development of self-determination through the life-course (pp. 171–187). Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Soenens, B., Vansteenkiste, M., & Sierens, E. (2009). How are parental psychological control and autonomy-support related? A Cluster-analytic Approach, 71, 187–202.Google Scholar
- Steinberg, L. (1993). Autonomy, conflict, and harmony in the family relationship. In S. S. Feldman & G. R. Elliott eds, At the threshold: The developing adolescent (pp. 255–276). Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. (1993).Google Scholar
- Yeh, K. H. (2003). The beneficial and harmful effects of filial piety: an integrative analysis. In K. S. Yang, K. K. Hwang, P. Pedersen, & I. Daibo (Eds.), Progress in Asian social psychology: Conceptual and empirical contributions (pp. 67–82). Westport, CT: Praeger.Google Scholar
- Zhao, B. H., & Sun, Y. (2011). Ertong xiwang liangbiao zhongwenban de xinxiaodu jianyan [Reliability and validity of the Chinese version of children’s hope scale]. Zhongguo Xinli Weisheng Zazhi [Chinese Mental Health Journal], 25, 454–459.Google Scholar