Family correlates of high-school student adjustment: A cross-cultural study


Department of Psychology, Australian National University, Canberra, A.C.T., 2601, Australia


Five aspects of adjustment to high school - academic performance; sociometric popularity; and the student's satisfaction with school, friends, and own academic performance - were assessed among 1,825 students in eight communities: Hong Kong, Taipei, Osaka, Berlin, Winnipeg, Phoenix, Canberra, and Brisbane. They, their parents, and teachers also provided information about the students' personalities (self-esteem, anxiety, interpersonal competence, and hostility) and family relations (solidarity, parental nurturance, permissiveness, and punitiveness). The predictors of high-school adjustment were quite similar among the eight samples: Academic performance depended on the child's hostility and interpersonal competence (as well as verbal ability); these two personality characteristics depended, in turn, on parental punitiveness and nurturance. The child's satisfaction with school and with its om academic performance depended on self-, which depended on family solidarity. Sociometric popularity was not well predicted by these variables, but was slightly correlated with the child's interpersonal competence and parental nurturance. The family characteristic most consistently associated with high-school adjustment was (child-reported) parental nurturance, while parental permissiveness had few consistent effects. Most of the obtained relations were strongly source-dependent; that is, they were substantially larger when measures came from the same source than when they came from different sources.