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Chinese Parental Involvement and Adolescent Learning Motivation and Subjective Well-Being: More is not Always Better

  • Ruoxuan Li
  • Meilin YaoEmail author
  • Hongrui Liu
  • Yunxiang Chen
Research Paper
  • 108 Downloads

Abstract

Parental involvement in education has been positively associated with children’s academic development and well-being, but whether high parental involvement, regardless of its form, always yields desirable results in adolescent development remains debatable. The purpose of this study was to investigate the integral contributions of parental involvement, autonomy support, and psychological control in predicting adolescent learning motivation (i.e., achievement goals and academic engagement) and subjective well-being (SWB) by implementing a person-centered approach. Participants included 3378 Chinese adolescents (Mage = 15.60, SD = 1.55; 1513 boys), who completed a survey. Results revealed four parenting profiles: high control‒low involvement (Profile 1; 7.55%), moderate all (Profile 2; 50.65%), high all (Profile 3; 4.00%), and high autonomy support–moderate involvement (Profile 4; 37.80%). Adolescents in Profile 4 were more adaptive, more engaged, and happier than those in other profiles; and those in Profile 1 were more maladaptive, a condition relating to poorer development. Although adolescents in Profile 3 also perceived both high involvement and autonomy support from parents, they actually exhibited levels of learning motivation and SWB similar to those in Profile 2 and experienced higher performance-avoidance goals, negative affect, and lower life satisfaction relative to Profile 4. Findings suggest that more perceived parental involvement is not always better because the effectiveness of involvement partly depends on the approach that parents take.

Keywords

Parental involvement Autonomy support Psychological control Achievement goal Subjective well-being 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

Authors’ contributions

RL conceived of the study, participated in its design, interpretation of the data and coordination, drafted and revised the manuscript. MY participated in the design and coordination, helped to draft the manuscript, and participated further revision. HL and YC participated in its design, helped to analysis the data and draft and revise the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict interests

The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Supplementary material

10902_2019_192_MOESM1_ESM.docx (13 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 13 kb)

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Beijing Key Laboratory of Applied Experimental Psychology, Faculty of PsychologyBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina

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