Parents’ Involvement in Children’s Learning in the United States and China: Implications for Children’s Academic and Emotional Adjustment


  • This research was supported by National Institute of Mental Health Grant R01 MH57505. We appreciate the constructive comments on an earlier version of this article provided by Peggy Miller and members of the Center for Parent-Child Studies at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

concerning this article should be addressed to Cecilia Sin-Sze Cheung or Eva M. Pomerantz, Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 603 East Daniel Street, Champaign, IL 61820. Electronic mail may be sent to or


This research examined parents’ involvement in children’s learning in the United States and China. Beginning in seventh grade, 825 American and Chinese children (mean age = 12.74 years) reported on their parents’ involvement in their learning as well as their parents’ psychological control and autonomy support every 6 months until the end of 8th grade. Information on children’s academic and emotional adjustment was obtained. American (vs. Chinese) parents’ involvement was associated less with their control and more with their autonomy support. Despite these different associations, parents’ heightened involvement predicted children’s enhanced engagement and achievement similarly in the United States and China. However, it predicted enhanced perceptions of competence and positive emotional functioning more strongly in the United States than China.