Parental Autonomy Support Predicts Academic Achievement Through Emotion-Related Self-Regulation and Adaptive Skills in Chinese American Adolescents Academic Article uri icon


  • 2013 American Psychological Association. The present study challenges the popular notion that overly controlling or restrictive parenting is the primary pathway to academic achievement for Chinese Americans. Although traditional Chinese values require parents to make good choices for their children by supervising and asserting strict limits using gun (safeguarding) and jio xun (demandingness of excellence), such parental duties do not preclude the use of autonomy support or noncoercive discipline to promote children's academic success. In this study, we examined the processes or mechanisms underlying the linkages between parental autonomy support, emotion-related self-regulation, adaptive skills, and academic achievement in 92 Chinese American adolescents (mean age = 16 years, SD = 1.4) and their first-generation immigrant parents. Study results indicate that parental autonomy support and emotion-related self-regulation are both promotive factors in adaptive and academic competencies. We propose that gun, or safeguarding, and jio xun, or demandingness of excellence, represent parental strictness-supervision, which when counterbalanced by autonomy support, could be considered the yin and yang in parenting that promotes adolescents' academic success without harming their social-emotional or psychological well-being.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Liew, J., Kwok, O., Chang, Y., Chang, B. W., & Yeh, Y.

citation count

  • 62

complete list of authors

  • Liew, Jeffrey||Kwok, Oiman||Chang, Yu-pei||Chang, Bonny W||Yeh, Yu-Chen

publication date

  • January 2014