Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 1173–1183 | Cite as

Authoritative Parenting of Chinese Mothers of Children with and without Intellectual Disability

  • Hui Su
  • Monica Cuskelly
  • Linda Gilmore
  • Karen Sullivan
Original Paper


The present study examined authoritative parenting and associations with parenting sense of competence and social support in Chinese mothers of children with intellectual disability and mothers of typically developing children. One hundred and sixty-seven mothers of children with intellectual disability with a mean age of 10.89 years (SD = 1.74) and 119 mothers of typically developing children with a mean age of 10.55 years (SD = 1.10) participated in a survey. Mothers of children with intellectual disability reported similar levels of parental warmth, and less use of reasoning and autonomy support compared with mothers of typically developing children. Parenting efficacy contributed uniquely to three dimensions of authoritative parenting for mothers of children with intellectual disability. By comparison, parenting efficacy did not contribute to use of reasoning and autonomy support for mothers of typically developing children. Social support made a unique but small contribution to parental warmth but not to parental reasoning and autonomy support for mothers of children with intellectual disability. For mothers of typically developing children, social support was associated with both parental warmth and autonomy support. This study suggests that child disability status is related to maternal authoritative parenting, and additionally, parenting efficacy plays a more critical role in predicting authoritative parenting of Chinese mothers of children with intellectual disability than mothers of typically developing children.


Authoritative parenting Intellectual disability Parenting efficacy Social support China 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Clearance

This study was approved by the Human Research Ethnics Committee at Queensland University of Technology (Approval number: 1300000481). Participants were informed through the information letter that consent was implied by the participant completing and returning the questionnaire.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hui Su
    • 1
    • 2
  • Monica Cuskelly
    • 3
  • Linda Gilmore
    • 2
  • Karen Sullivan
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Faculty of EducationCentral China Normal UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.Faculty of EducationQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.Faculty of EducationUniversity of TasmaniaLauncestonAustralia
  4. 4.Institution of Health and Biomedical InnovationQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  5. 5.Faculty of HealthQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia

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