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Understanding Parenting Influence on Chinese University Students’ Well-Being

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Because emotional and behavioural problems among young adults are an evolving public health concern, it is critical to identify parenting behaviour in family of origin that prevents or exacerbates such problems. Further, it is particularly important to focus on university students in China, a country with rapid growth in university student population and changing dynamics of parenting. In this study, I proposed and tested the impact of multiple dimensions of parenting behaviour (parental warmth, hostility and overprotection) during childhood and adolescent years on behavioural and emotional problems (anxiety, depression and drinking behaviour) among Chinese university students who were entering university and starting their independent living. Using a sample of 545 university students attending a large university in China, results from logistic and multiple linear regression analyses suggested that: (1) fathers’ hostility was associated with university students’ report of drinking and anxiety, and (2) mothers’ overprotection was associated with anxiety and depression. Lack of findings on the effects of parental warmth may suggest cultural variation in expression of parental warmth. Further, the findings revealed some gender differences in parenting behaviour. Other demographics were also included. Implications for cross-cultural comparisons and parenting and university student health interventions were discussed.

Affiliations: 1: Florida State University


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