Chinese parents' comparisons of siblings and adolescents' internalizing and externalizing problems

Bin Bin Chen, Yang Qu, Xiaochen Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Parents' comparisons of siblings have been understudied among sibling research, especially in Chinese societies where the government recently relaxed its one-child policy. This study, using a two-wave longitudinal design, explored how parents' comparisons of siblings were associated with adolescents' internalizing and externalizing problems. Study participants were 260 Chinese adolescents who had siblings and completed questionnaires that assessed their internalizing and externalizing problems, as well as their perceptions of parents' critical comparisons of siblings. Cross-lagged modeling analysis showed that parents' comparisons of siblings predicted more internalizing and externalizing problems in adolescents 6 months later. Moreover, adolescents' externalizing problems but not internalizing problems predicted more parents' comparisons of siblings over time. These findings underscore the importance of reciprocal relations between parents' comparisons of siblings and adolescents' externalizing problems and the implication of cultural context in understanding associations between parental practices and adolescents' adjustment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)914-921
Number of pages8
JournalDevelopment and psychopathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • China
  • adolescent
  • psychopathology
  • sibling comparisons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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