Parental Collectivism Goals and Chinese Adolescents’ Prosocial Behaviors: The Mediating Role of Authoritative Parenting

Zexi Zhou, Yang Qu, Xiaoru Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Prosocial behaviors are important indicators of positive social adjustment during adolescence in collectivistic cultures. Although parents play a central role in the process of cultural socialization, it remains unclear how culturally embedded parental goals for their children are related to adolescent prosocial development, especially in non-Western countries. Moreover, little is known about whether parenting practices serve as an underlying mechanism in linking parental goals and adolescents’ prosocial behaviors. To address these issues, this two-wave longitudinal study investigated the associations between parental collectivism goals and Chinese adolescents’ prosocial behaviors, with attention to the mediating role of authoritative parenting. Two hundred and eighty-five Chinese adolescents (51% girls; mean age = 12.29 years, SD = 0.64, range = 11–14) completed measures on parental collectivism goals, parenting practices, and their own prosocial behaviors. Results showed that adolescents’ perceived parental collectivism goals positively predicted their prosocial behaviors one year later, which was partially mediated by authoritative parenting. Notably, the effects of perceived parental collectivism goals and authoritative parenting on adolescents’ later prosocial behaviors were more salient when adolescents initially showed a lower level of prosocial behaviors. The findings highlight the positive effects of parental collectivism goals in promoting adolescent prosocial development via authoritative parenting in the Chinese context, and identify the subgroup of adolescents who may derive particular benefits from this process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)766-779
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • Adolescents
  • Authoritative parenting
  • Parental goals
  • Prosocial behaviors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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