The ability to intentionally control behavior to achieve specific goals helps children concentrate in school and behave appropriately in social situations. In Chinese culture, where self-regulation is highly valued by parents and teachers, children’s difficulties self-regulating may contribute to increased learning problems and subsequent authoritarian parenting. In this study we explored the longitudinal linkages among Chinese children’s self-regulation, learning problems, and authoritarian parenting using a developmental cascades model. Participants were N = 617 primary school students in Shanghai, P.R. China followed over three years from Grade 3–4 to Grade 5–6. Measures of children’s self-regulation, learning problems, and maternal authoritarian parenting were obtained each year from a combination of child self-reports and maternal and teacher ratings. Among the results: (1) compared with the unidirectional and bidirectional models, the developmental cascades model was deemed the best fit for the data; (2) earlier self-regulation negatively predicted later authoritarian parenting via a pathway through academic performance; (3) academic performance directly and indirectly contributed to greater self-regulation. Results are discussed in terms of the implications of self-regulation for Chinese children’s academic success and authoritarian parenting practices.

, , , ,
Journal of Child and Family Studies
Department of Psychology

Liu, J. (Junsheng), Xiao, B. (Bowen), Hipson, W.E. (Will E.), Coplan, R, Yang, P. (Panpan), & Cheah, C.S.L. (Charissa S. L.). (2018). Self-Regulation, Learning Problems, and Maternal Authoritarian Parenting in Chinese Children: A Developmental Cascades Model. Journal of Child and Family Studies. doi:10.1007/s10826-018-1218-x