Parenting Styles and Health Risk Behavior of Left-Behind Children: The Mediating Effect of Cognitive Emotion Regulation

  • Xianhua LiuEmail author
Original Paper



This study is to investigate the role of cognitive emotion regulation in the relationship between parenting styles and health risk behavior in left-behind children.


Totally, 404 left-behind children were surveyed with the Egna Minnen av Barndoms Uppfostran (EMBU), the Cognitive Emotion Regulation Questionnaire-Chinese Version (CERQ-C) and the Adolescent Health Related Risky Behavior Inventory (AHRBI).


The results showed that: (1) The health risk behaviors of left-behind children were significantly negatively correlated with authoritative parenting styles (r = −0.46 to −0.26, P < 0.01) and positive cognitive emotion regulations (except Acceptance, r = −0.44 to −0.19, P < 0.01), and significantly positively correlated with authoritarian & permissive/neglecting parenting styles (r = 0.19–0.40, P < 0.01) and negative cognitive emotion regulations (except Self-blame, r = 0.25–0.52, P < 0.01). (2) Authoritative parenting styles were significantly positively correlated with positive cognitive emotion regulations (r = 0.13–0.47, P < 0.01), and significantly negatively correlated with negative cognitive emotion regulations (except Self-blame, r = −0.21 to −0.30, P < 0.01). Authoritarian & permissive/neglecting parenting styles were significantly negatively correlated with positive cognitive emotion regulations (r = −0.19 to −0.11, P < 0.05), and significantly positively correlated with negative cognitive emotion regulations (except Self-blame, r = 0.12–0.38, P < 0.05). (3) The structural equation models demonstrated that cognitive emotion regulation served as a partial mediator between authoritative, authoritarian and permissive/neglecting parenting styles and the health risk behaviors of left-behind children, accounting for the total effect from 7.55% to 66.92%.


The results suggests that parenting styles impact the health risk behaviors in left-behind children mainly via the mediating effect of cognitive emotion regulation.


Health risk behavior Parenting style Cognitive emotion regulation Left-behind children Mediating effect 


Author Contributions

X.L. designed and conducted the study, collected and analyzed the data, wrote the paper, and edited the final manuscript.


This work was supported by the Hunan Philosophy and Social Science Fund Project grant (grant number 16YBA039), the Hunan Provincial Social Science Achievement Appraisal Committee Project (grant number XSP17YBZC006) and the Hunan Provincial Department of Education College Research Project (grant number 15C0198).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in the study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the ethics review board of Hengyang Normal University and national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology, College of Education ScienceHengyang Normal UniversityHengyangChina

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