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Title: The influence of adolescent problem behaviors on life satisfaction : parent–child subsystem qualities as mediators
Authors: Zhu, X 
Shek, DTL 
Issue Date: Oct-2020
Source: Child indicators research, Oct. 2020, v. 13, p. 1767-1789
Abstract: Research studies showed that adolescent problem behaviors were negatively associated with their life satisfaction. However, the negative impact of problem behaviors on life satisfaction has not been sufficiently researched using longitudinal design and the potential mechanisms have not been well examined. The present study attempted to investigate how early adolescents’ externalizing and internalizing behaviors affect their life satisfaction (LS) as well as the mediating effects of parent-child subsystem qualities. Based on a sample of 2669 Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong who were followed up for three years, the present study found that both externalizing and internalizing behavior led to a decrease in LS among adolescents over time. While parental behavioral control and parent-child relational quality mediated the effects of externalizing behavior, parental factors did not mediate the effects of internalizing behavior. More specifically, parents tended to respond to children’s externalizing behavior by reducing parental involvement and warmth, which subsequently resulted in lower LS of adolescents. The findings imply that it is necessary to promote adolescent LS by reducing their problem behaviors. Moreover, parents should develop effective ways to enhance their understanding of children’s emotional and behavioral difficulties.
Keywords: Chinese adolescents
Externalizing behavior
Internalizing behavior
Longitudinal design
Publisher: Springer
Journal: Child indicators research 
ISSN: 1874-897X
DOI: 10.1007/s12187-020-09719-7
Rights: © The Author(s) 2020. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
The following publication Zhu, X., Shek, D.T.L. The Influence of Adolescent Problem Behaviors on Life Satisfaction: Parent–Child Subsystem Qualities as Mediators. Child Ind Res (2020), is available at
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