Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 25, Issue 5, pp 1397–1407 | Cite as

Parenting and Chinese Adolescent Suicidal Ideation and Suicide Attempts: The Mediating Role of Hopelessness

  • Dongping LiEmail author
  • Xian Li
  • Yanhui Wang
  • Zhenzhou Bao
Original Paper


Various family factors are risk factors for adolescent suicidality (suicidal ideation and suicide attempts). However, little is known about the role of parenting in adolescent suicidality. The present study examined the unique relations between three parenting dimensions (parental warmth, behavioral control, and psychological control) and adolescent suicidality, as well as the mediating role of adolescent hopelessness among these relations. A total of 1529 Chinese adolescents (52 % male; mean age = 14.74 years, SD = 1.48) completed anonymous questionnaires designed to assess three parenting dimensions, hopelessness, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. After controlling for gender, age, family structure, and socioeconomic status, it was found that parental warmth negatively predicted adolescent suicidality, whereas psychological control positively predicted adolescent suicidality. In addition, parental warmth negatively predicted adolescent hopelessness, whereas psychological control positively predicated adolescent hopelessness, which in turn enhanced adolescent suicidality. Although behavioral control did not predict adolescent suicidality, it did negatively predict adolescent hopelessness, which in turn promoted adolescent suicidality. These findings revealed the differential roles of different parenting dimensions in adolescent suicidality, and the mediation effect of adolescent hopelessness between parenting and adolescent suicidality. Future practices would benefit from incorporating both parenting and hopelessness for optimal intervention effect.


Suicidal ideation Suicide attempts Parenting Adolescents 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dongping Li
    • 1
    Email author
  • Xian Li
    • 2
  • Yanhui Wang
    • 3
  • Zhenzhou Bao
    • 4
  1. 1.School of PsychologyCentral China Normal UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.Department of Educational and Counseling PsychologyUniversity at Albany, SUNYAlbanyUSA
  3. 3.School of Education ScienceJiaying UniversityMeizhouChina
  4. 4.School of PsychologySouth China Normal UniversityGuangzhouChina

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