Child, Youth, and Family Studies, Department of


Date of this Version



Lixin Ren & Carolyn Pope Edwards (2015) Pathways of influence: Chinese parents' expectations, parenting styles, and child social competence, Early Child Development and Care, 185:4, 614-630, DOI: 10.1080/03004430.2014.944908


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This study examines relations among parental expectations for children’s development of social-emotional skills, parenting styles, and child social competence. A total of 154 parents with preschool-aged children from mainland China completed questionnaires measuring their timing of expectations for children’s mastery of social-emotional skills, values placed on social-emotional skills, parenting styles, and child social competence. Parenting styles were found to mediate the effects of parental expectations on child social competence. Parents with earlier expectations reported higher levels of authoritative parenting,which in turn related to better parent-reported child social competence. Parents who placed more values on social-emotional skills were more likely to adopt an authoritative parenting style, and subsequently, they reported children having better social competence.