Temperament, Harsh and Indulgent Parenting, and Chinese Children’s Proactive and Reactive Aggression


  • We wish to thank the children, parents, and teachers who participated in the study.

concerning this article should be addressed to Yiyuan Xu, Department of Psychology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822. Electronic mail may be sent to yiyuan@hawaii.edu.


This study examined the additive and interactive effects of temperament and harsh and indulgent parenting on Chinese children’s proactive and reactive aggression. Participants were 401 children (M age = 9.29 years, 203 girls) and their parents who were recruited from 2 elementary schools in Shanghai, People’s Republic of China. The results showed that children’s sensation seeking was associated with proactive aggression, whereas anger/frustration was associated with reactive aggression. Both subtypes of aggression were negatively related to children’s effortful control but positively related to harsh parenting. Significant Temperament × Temperament and Parenting × Temperament interactions were also found. The findings point to similarities and differences between proactive and reactive aggression in relation to children’s temperament and harsh and indulgent parenting in the Chinese context.