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Peer Relations of Chinese Adolescent Newcomers: Relations of Peer Group Integration and Friendship Quality to Psychological and School Adjustment

Abstract

The association between peer relations and adjustment was examined in 121 Chinese adolescent newcomers (11–19 years) attending public schools in an urban Canadian city. Data were collected via self-reports of peer relations (i.e., peer group integration, friendship quality) and psychological adjustment (i.e., depression, anxiety), and teacher reports of school competence, externalizing problem behaviors, and learning problems. Results revealed that in their best friendship, girls reported higher levels of closeness, help, and security than did boys, and boys reported higher levels of conflict than did girls. Results of hierarchical regression analyses revealed that several of the dimensions of peer relations significantly predicted adjustment outcomes. Most notably, peer group integration significantly predicted psychological adjustment above and beyond friendship quality. The cultural and policy implications of these findings are discussed.

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This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

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Correspondence to Zuhra Teja.

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Teja, Z., Schonert-Reichl, K.A. Peer Relations of Chinese Adolescent Newcomers: Relations of Peer Group Integration and Friendship Quality to Psychological and School Adjustment. Int. Migration & Integration 14, 535–556 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12134-012-0253-5

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Keywords

  • Peer group integration
  • Friendship
  • Adjustment
  • Adolescence
  • Chinese newcomers