Parental Stress and Chinese American Preschoolers’ Adjustment: The Mediating Role of Parenting





Citation of Original Publication

Wang, Suqing, Charissa S. L. Cheah, Xiaoli Zong, and Huiguang Ren. 2023. "Parental Stress and Chinese American Preschoolers’ Adjustment: The Mediating Role of Parenting" Behavioral Sciences 13, no. 7: 562.


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Family contexts, such as parental stress and parenting practices, play critical roles in preschoolers’ adjustment. However, these processes have been understudied in Chinese American families. The present study examined the associations between Chinese American mothers’ experiences of two types of stress (i.e., general/contextual stress and parenting stress) and their preschoolers’ socio-emotional and behavioral adjustment problems; in addition, the mediating roles of maternal psychologically controlling parenting and maternal warmth in these associations were assessed. Participants included 207 first-generation Chinese American mothers (Mₐgₑ = 37.78 years, SDₐgₑ = 4.36) and their 3- to 6-year-old children (Mₐgₑ = 4.50 years, SDₐgₑ = 0.90; 52% boys). Mothers reported on their levels of stress, psychologically controlling parenting, and warmth practices; teachers reported on child adjustment in the school setting. The results revealed that higher levels of general/contextual stress and parenting stress were each uniquely associated with more maternal psychologically controlling parenting practices, which in turn was associated with fewer socio-emotional and behavioral adjustment problems in children. Our findings can inform parenting intervention programs designed to improve Chinese American preschoolers’ adjustment.