Ecological Influences on Chinese Adolescents’ Problem Behaviors: A Multilevel Analysis

Cixin Wang, Kieu Anh Do, Leiping Bao, Yan R. Xia, Chaorong Wu, Lauren Couch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This study investigated the effects of individuals, school, and familial protective and risk factors and their interactions on adolescent problem behaviors using a stratified random sample of 2,864 (51.5% female) students from 55 classrooms in 13 schools in Shanghai, China (Mage = 15.52 years, SD = 1.62). Results from the multilevel analyses indicate that being male, having high parent–adolescent conflict, high independent self-construal, low conformity, low grade rank, and low classroom-level and individual-level school adjustment predicted problem behaviors. Adolescent independent self-construal also interacted with parental autonomy granting to predict vandalism. For adolescents with low or moderate levels of independent self-construal, autonomy granting predicted lower odds of vandalism, but for adolescents with high levels of independent self-construal, parental autonomy granting predicted higher odds of vandalism. The findings highlight the complex effects of parenting and independent/interdependent self-construals on adolescent problem behaviors in China.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2545-2571
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018


  • Chinese adolescents
  • independent/interdependent self-construals
  • parental autonomy granting
  • problem behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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