, Volume 85, Issue 2, pp 169-189

Economic disadvantage, perceived family life quality, and emotional well-being in Chinese adolescents: A longitudinal study

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Over three consecutive years, Chinese secondary school students experiencing and not experiencing economic disadvantage (n = 280 and 2,187, respectively) responded to measures of perceived family life quality (parenting attributes and parent-child relational quality) and emotional well-being (hopelessness, mastery, life satisfaction and self-esteem). While participants experiencing economic disadvantage generally had more negative perceptions of parenting quality and parent-child relational quality than did adolescents not experiencing economic disadvantage, the differences were more pronounced for the father-adolescent dyad than for the mother-adolescent dyad. Emotional well-being was also different in adolescents with and without economic disadvantage. Although adolescents experiencing different intensity of economic disadvantage differed on some paternal parenting processes, no related differences were observed for other measures of family life quality and emotional well-being. The present study fills the research gap pertinent to the relationship between economic disadvantage and family as well as emotional quality of life in early adolescence in the Chinese culture.

This work was financially supported by the Research Grants Council of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Hong Kong (Grant CUHK4293/03H) and Wofoo Foundation. The author wishes to thank Britta Lee and Joyce Chow for their assistance in collecting the data.