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Autonomy-relatedness Patterns and their Association with Academic and Psychological Adjustment among Chinese Adolescents

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Abstract

Establishing autonomy and maintaining relatedness with parents are two of the most crucial goals for adolescents and meeting these goals can be critical for academic and psychological adjustment. A two-dimensional framework was proposed for exploring the integrative synthesis of autonomy and relatedness, but its cultural applicability was limited. To better account for the situations associated with non-Western cultural context, this study extended the prior framework to three dimensions (volition, functional independence, and relatedness) and utilized latent profile analysis to explore the configurations and their concurrent and longitudinal (one year later) associations with adjustment (academic engagement, academic buoyancy, depressive symptoms, and externalizing problems). The study collected data from 3992 Chinese adolescents (51.33% girls, Mage = 15.41, SD = 0.55). Latent profile analyses identified five profiles: High, High Functional Independence, Moderate, Low Functional Independence, and Extremely Low Functional Independence. The High profile was the robust optimal pattern for academic and psychological adjustment, while the Low Functional Independence and Extremely Low Functional Independence were risk patterns over time. The High Functional Independence profile was only conducive to academic areas but not to psychological areas. Findings demonstrated the necessity of the three-dimensional framework in this field.

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Data Sharing Declaration

The datasets generated and analyzed during the current study are not publicly available but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

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Acknowledgements

We thank the staff of this project for their unending contributions to this work and the students, teachers, and administrators who made this research possible.

Funding

This work was supported a grant by the Key Research Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China (16JJD880009) and the Research Foundation of Essential Tasks in Philosophy and Social Science of the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China (11JZD037).

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Authors and Affiliations

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Contributions

J.S. conceived of the present study questions, participated in the design of the study, interpreted the data, performed statistical analysis, drafted and revised the manuscript. J.J. performed statistical analysis, drafted and revised the manuscript. L.W. drafted and revised the manuscript. X.F. participated in the design of the study, coordinated the data collection, provided critical review of the manuscript, and provided funding. All authors read and approved this version to be submitted for publication.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Xiaoyi Fang.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

Ethical Approval

We have adhered to APA ethical standards in conducting this study and this study has been approved by the Institutional Review Board of Beijing Normal University.

Informed Consent

Written assent was obtained from all participating children and written consent was obtained from their parents through the school.

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Shen, J., Jia, J., Wang, L. et al. Autonomy-relatedness Patterns and their Association with Academic and Psychological Adjustment among Chinese Adolescents. J Youth Adolescence 52, 1272–1286 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-023-01745-2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-023-01745-2

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