The socialization goals parents hold for their adolescents, which reflect the qualities, skills, or behaviors they want their adolescents to acquire, play an important role in shaping adolescents’ adjustment via parenting practices. Nevertheless, there is a lack of studies that examine the longitudinal implications of parents’ socialization goals for adolescents’ academic motivation, especially in non-Western cultures. Moreover, evidence is still scarce regarding the full process from parents’ socialization goals to parenting practices and further to adolescents’ academic adjustment. To address these gaps, the current two-wave longitudinal study spanning one year examined whether two critical socialization goals endorsed by parents in Chinese culture, namely self-development (i.e., parents wanting adolescents to be unique, autonomous, and self-assertive) and academic achievement socialization goals (i.e., parents wanting adolescents to achieve academic success), predicted Chinese adolescents’ academic motivation over time via parents’ autonomy support. Two hundred and eighty-five Chinese adolescents (Mean age = 12.29 years, SD = 0.64, range = 11–14, 51% girls) reported on perceived parental socialization goals and autonomy support, as well as different aspects of their own academic motivation (i.e., academic interest, mastery orientation, and persistent responses to academic failure). Results showed that perceived parents’ self-development socialization goals positively predicted adolescents’ academic motivation one year later, which was mediated by parents’ increased autonomy support. The findings highlight the positive role of parents’ self-development socialization goals in Chinese adolescents’ academic adjustment in the changing society, and identify the underlying socialization processes via parenting practices.
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We would like to thank all the families participating in this study.
This study is supported by the research fund of the School of Social Development and Public Policy at Fudan University and the research fund of “Research Project on Adolescent Development” to X.L., and research fund from the Center for Culture, Brain, Biology, and Learning at Northwestern University to Y.Q.Data Sharing Declaration
The datasets generated and/or analyzed during the current study are not publicly available but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
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The authors declare no competing interests.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consents were obtained from all participants included in the study.
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Zhou, Z., Shi, Z., Li, X. et al. Parents’ Self-Development Socialization Goals and Chinese Adolescents’ Academic Motivation: The Mediating Role of Parents’ Autonomy Support. J Youth Adolescence 52, 1887–1901 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-023-01797-4