A longitudinal study of the impact of parental discipline on wellbeing among primary school students in China : The roles of school attachment and growth mindset

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number105435
Journal / PublicationChild Abuse and Neglect
Online published21 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


Background: Various parental disciplinary strategies may have different impacts on children's wellbeing. Protective factors, such as school attachment and a growth mindset, may mitigate the influence of harsh discipline on a child's wellbeing. Objective: Based on the strengths-based trauma-informed positive education model, the current study investigated the impacts of three types of parental discipline (corporal punishment, psychological aggression, and nonviolent discipline) on primary school students' wellbeing and examined the moderating roles of school attachment and a growth mindset (both disjunctive and conjunctive moderating effects) in the relationship between parental discipline and student wellbeing. Methods: A sample of 854 primary school students (M = 9.40) from eight schools in Hong Kong, China, completed the questionnaire survey at two time points (Time 1 and Time 2), one year apart. Hierarchical regression analysis was applied for data analysis. Results: Parental psychological aggression at Time 1 (T1) was significantly and negatively related to student wellbeing at Time 2 (T2). Parental nonviolent discipline students' school attachment and growth mindset at T1 were significantly and positively correlated with student wellbeing at T2, when controlling for the students' initial wellbeing and important confounding demographic variables. School attachment moderated the association between parental psychological aggression and student wellbeing. Conclusions: Parental psychological aggression has negative impacts while nonviolent discipline has positive impacts on primary school students' wellbeing. Students who are more attached to school and have a growth mindset show higher levels of wellbeing. The study provides further evidence of the role of school attachment in moderating the effect of parental psychological aggression on children's wellbeing in the trauma-informed positive education model.

Research Area(s)

  • Corporal punishment, Growth mindset, Nonviolent discipline, Psychological aggression, School attachment, Wellbeing

Citation Format(s)