Parents play irreplaceable roles in the shaping of social-emotional competence in adolescents, particularly in economically disadvantaged families. By surveying a sample of 965 adolescents from Hong Kong, China, we found that the associations between parenting behaviors and the social-emotional competence of their children varied by gender; that is, the associations between parenting behaviors and the social-emotional competence of female were much stronger as opposed to male students. Specifically, the magnitude of the positive association between positive parenting behaviors and social-emotional competence in female adolescents was larger than that in male adolescents. Similarly, the magnitude of the negative association between negative parenting behaviors and social-emotional competence among female adolescents was also larger than that of male adolescents. This difference can be explained by different interpretations of social-emotional competence, along with different opportunities for social practice across genders in communities based on traditional Chinese culture.
Bibliographical noteThis study was funded by grants from the Research Grant Council Strategic Public Policy Research (HKIEd 7001-SPPR-11).
- Chinese adolescents
- Cultural differences
- Parenting behaviors
- Social-emotional competence