Skip to main content


Log in

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

  • Empirical Research
  • Published:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence Aims and scope Submit manuscript


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.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

Similar content being viewed by others

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.


Download references


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.


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).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



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.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of Interest

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.

Additional information

Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Supplementary information

Rights and permissions

Springer Nature or its licensor (e.g. a society or other partner) holds exclusive rights to this article under a publishing agreement with the author(s) or other rightsholder(s); author self-archiving of the accepted manuscript version of this article is solely governed by the terms of such publishing agreement and applicable law.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

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).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: