Parent-Child Attachment and Social Adaptation Behavior in Chinese College Students : The Mediating Role of School Bonding

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

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  • Haowen Yin
  • Suning Qian
  • Fengqiu Huang
  • Huibin Zeng
  • Casper J. P. Zhang


Original languageEnglish
Article number711669
Journal / PublicationFrontiers in Psychology
Online published28 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021



Family and school are two main places for adolescents to develop socialization, which can be contributed by good parent-child attachment and school bonding. Earlier studies suggested that parent-child attachment played an important role in promoting the formation of high-level school bonding, which is also likely to influence social adaptation. This study aimed to explore the relationship between parent-child attachment and social adaptation, and the mediating role of school bonding. Using stratified cluster sampling, 1,440 college students were first randomly selected from four universities and then stratified by specialty with a balance between genders and grades. Participants voluntarily participated in this study and completed questionnaires including the Parent-Child Attachment Scale, School Bonding Scale, and Social Adaptation Scale. Finally, a total of 1,320 college students were included in the analysis (59.5% female; aged 18–24years, Mage=20.39±1.52years). Data analysis and structural equation modeling were conducted using SPSS 22.0 and AMOS 23.0. The results indicated that the overall level of parent-child attachment in females (M=75.72, SD=12.36) was significantly higher than that of males (M=73.71, SD=12.68; F=8.22, p<0.01). Difference was also found between sibling status (F=13.90, p<0.001), and the only-child (M=76.16, SD=12.72) scored significantly higher than their counterparts (non-only children, M=73.60, SD=12.19). Parent-child attachment was positively correlated with social adaptation (p<0.01) and school bonding (p<0.01), while school bonding was also positively correlated with social adaptation score (p<0.01). School bonding played a partial intermediate role in the relationship between parent-child attachment and social adaptation (β=0.15). Our research identified a direct influence of parent-child attachment and an indirect influence via school bonding on social adaptation among college students.

Research Area(s)

  • college students, intermediate role, parent-child attachment, school bonding, social adaptation

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