Family Economic Hardship and Child Outcomes: Test of Family Stress Model in the Chinese Context

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Abstract

Using data from the 2014 wave of the China Family Panel Studies (CFPS), a nationally representative survey, we examined the direct and indirect effects of family economic hardship on children's outcomes using the family stress model (FSM). Multitrait-multimethod data were from a sample of 777 two-parent families. Data from both parents and one of their school-age children (M = 11.36) were used to test the proposed conceptual model using structural equation modeling conducted in Mplus 8. The results indicate partial support for the FSM in the Chinese context and show variations in the pathways for rural and urban families. The mediating role of economic pressure and parental distress in the association between family economic hardship and child emotional distress was supported. The findings have implications for the development of intervention programs and for future studies on the association between family economic hardship and child emotional distress and child self-concept in the Chinese context. The study findings suggest that clinical and policy endeavors should be directed at alleviating the effects of economic pressure and targeting efforts toward reducing parental emotional distress. These attempts could be valuable in advancing child outcomes in the face of family economic hardship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Chinese families
  • Emotional distress
  • Family economic hardship
  • Parenting behaviors
  • Support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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